Uros Stoklas z ekipo pred zacetkom tekme


The Race Across America (RAAM), an annual ultra-marathon cycling race that has been running between the West and East coasts of the USA since 1982 over a course length of approximately 4,800 km and a duration of approximately one week, is one of the most respected and longest cycling endurance sports events in the world. RAAM is the pinnacle of sports achievements not only in cycling circles, but also in the wider sports community, the highest rung of the sports endurance ladder.

The Race Across America, or RAAM, is a race that began in 1982 as the Great American Bike Race. The route has changed over the years, but the direction has always been from the west to the east coast of the USA.

In recent years, the route runs from the start in the city of Oceanside near San Diego on the Pacific coast to the city of Annapolis on the Atlantic coast. At first it runs through the desert regions of California, Arizona, Utah, climbs into the mountains of Colorado, and flows on through the flat prairie states of the Midwest, to the largest American rivers Missouri and Mississippi and towards the capital of the United States, Washington.

RAAM map

The race is extreme in all respects, both in the length of the route that must be covered and in the altitude; over three days, it first descends 52 meters below sea level, from where it climbs into the Colorado mountains to its highest point, the 3,300m high Wolf Creek Pass. The temperature differences are also extreme, changing during the first three days from the hellish 45 degrees Celsius in the desert to the scorching 5 degrees Celsius in the mountain areas of the route.

It differs from normal stage cycling races in that it is not divided into individual stages, but runs throughout, and the racers set their own time for rest and food. It takes place in more than twenty competition classes, of which the most important and high-profile is the men’s solo. Solo racers have a maximum of 12 days until the end of the race, the fastest finish in just over eight days, and team racers have a maximum of nine days, with most finishing in around seven and a half days.

The special feature of the race is not in its competitiveness, because usually in a race between about 150 participants and 30 riders on the most difficult, “solo” test, only a handful of those can actually fight for the win. For the vast majority of others, it is a competition with themselves, with their limitations. An average race is successfully completed by 40% of registered cyclists, which means between 10 and 15 competitors in solo categories. In recent years, the best has been Austrian Christoph Strasser. With his latest victory, he improved the record of Jure Robič, who won five times.

What it means to reach the destination in 8 to 12 days, to cycle a route more than 4,800 kilometers long with more than 52,000 meters of altitude difference and pass 55 time points, practically without major stops, is known only to those who overcome it.
Good luck!

  • 4800
  • KM
  • 2
  • 24
  • KM/H


Race across Germany (RAG), 2019

The demanding route was 780 kilometers long and had an elevation gain of 7,800 meters. The race took place throughout busy roads, where it was necessary to follow road traffic regulations, through villages and larger towns. Especially over Bonn and Dresden, Stoklas and his accompanying team had problems with traffic jams in the city, and there were also a lot of detours due to road reconstruction. Thus, at the end of the race, the counter stopped at 786 kilometers. This was the first race of this kind in Europe for Stoklas, he finished the race in less than 36 hours and was the fastest in the solo supported 50+ category.

Race across France (RAF), 2019

From a height of meters of climbs. The entire race took place in rather unpleasant weather conditions for the cyclists: they started in the rain, the cyclists were accompanied by the wind in most of Provence, which only got stronger until the highest point of the race, the 1909 m high mountain Mont Ventoux, reaching gusts of over 80 km/h. Stoklas reached the top a little after midnight. In real hurricane wind, cold and fog followed a challenging descent and about 200 km to the finish line. In the end, he spent a good 29 hours for 546 km and was second in this distance.

Race across America (RAAM), 2018

After almost four decades, the toughest ultra-cycling race in the world is still a big story and a magnet for all ultramarathon cyclists. Also for Slovenes. This year’s bicycle race across America, RAAM 2018, ended before the finish line for our cyclist Uroš Stoklas. Preparations for RAAM, aside from the lengthy recruitment of sponsors, assembling a support team and seeking media attention, actually begin with acclimatization to extreme heat, usually in the desert town of Borrego Springs, located near the race’s lowest point, 52 meters below sea level.

This year’s acclimatization also coincided with the repair of a broken collarbone, which happened to Uroš less than a month before the start of the race, when during one of the last training sessions on the road, somewhere near Radeč, a gray cat found itself under his bike, and what followed was a catapult, an ugly fall, fracture and surgical fixation of the clavicle. Even before the official start, the expedition was effectively doomed to failure. A great start, a glorious climb up Wolf Creek Pass, and… signs of an old injury again, Shermer’s neck. The goal was paradoxically moving away with every kilometer traveled. In Monte Visto, a town at the entrance to the prairie, in a very symbolic place, in front of the literal cowboy church “The Feed Store Church”, he decided to inform the race management that he was withdrawing from the race due to a neck injury. This marked the end of the second consecutive participation of the only Slovenian in the race across America this year, Uroš Stoklas.


Dirka Datum
VTT Championships January