Jure Robic, world’s toughest, craziest athlete, dies
Sad news over the weekend of the death of an insane man you probably haven’t heard of but who was, by many accounts, the world’s greatest endurance athlete.
Jure Robic was a Slovenian soldier turned long distance cyclist. In 2004, during the Ride Across America, a notorious, 3,000-mile, coast-to-coast race Robic won a record five times, the 45-year-old pedalled into the Guinness book by covering 518 miles in 24 hours. He slept for a total of eight hours as he cycled 350 miles a day to complete the race in just eight days.
Robic trained almost every day, cycling far enough each year to circumnavigate the globe, and it was on his bike that he died when he was struck by a car near his home last Friday. He’ll be buried tomorrow.
I first learned about Robic, who was famous for riding for 40 hours or more before even taking his first break, when I stumbled upon a fascinating interview the New York Times ran in 2006. It seeks to get beneath the rider’s skin to discover how and why a man pushes through pain barriers hardly anyone even reaches – and how it drives him mad.
Robic also features heavily in Bicycle Dreams, a remarkable film that follows several competitors in the Ride Across America, considered to be the world’s toughest sporting event (watch the trailer here). Robic didn’t die rich or famous but his place as a legend of the sport is assured.Tagged in: cycling, endurance, extreme sports
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