February 15, 2008 (Toronto, ON) – Tour d’Afrique Ltd, creators, pioneers and organizers of world-renowned transcontinental bicycle odysseys across Africa, Europe and Asia, are gearing up once again to make bicycle history – this time in South America.
Vuelta Sudamericana is the name of the company’s newest bicycle epic. It will travel 13,000 kms through eight South American countries and wil be the world’s longest and most challenging bicycle expedition ever attempted.
Starting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 26 July 2009 and finishing in Quito, Ecuador on 12 December 2009, Vuelta Sudamericana is the fourth bicycle event in an exciting new category that the company is pioneering – Transcontinental Bicycle Races and Expeditions. The company’s other three world-renowned annual events are Tour d’Afrique (12 000 km from Cairo to Cape Town) Orient Express (4000 km from Paris to Istanbul) and Silk Route (11 000 km from Istanbul to Beijing).
“The sheer magnitude of our events provides a unqiue experience for both amateur racers and expedition cyclists and continues to push the perceived limits of long distance, organized adventure cycling.” said Henry Gold, company founder and environmental activist. “Participants come from all walks of life and share one thing – a passion for cycling. Travelling by bike allows you to smell strange and wonderful new foods cooking as you roll through a village, feel the temperature drop as you climb relentlessly to the top of a mountain pass and observe the changes in culture and vegetation as you cycle across the landscape. It is these experiences that create the Zen of long distance adventure cycling.”
Vuelta Sudamericana will begin in Brazil and continue through Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Perud and Ecuador, passing through each country’s national capital. Riders will visit Iguazu Falls, Mount Aconcagua, the Atacama Desert, Lak Titicaca and Machu Picchu. They will cycle along the coasts of both the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans and will face the Andes in between.
“The goal of this expedition is not to travel the most efficient line between opposite ends of a continent, but to explore South America by bike.” said Randy Pielsticker, who will be leading the expedition. “South America is a magnificent continent for a cycling expedition and offers enormous cultural and geophysical diversity.”
This expedition promises a complete range of cycling conditions; extreme temperatures, mountain passes over 4000m, open desert crossings, dense jungles and every possible road surface. The route traverses rural regions where participants will experience indigenous lifestyles.
Vuelta Sudamericana features approximately 115 cycling days, averaging 120 km each day, as well as 25 rest days. It is divided into 6 sections and can therefore accommodate sectional cyclists who are unable to do the entire expedition in one go. Support trucks transport the gear and equipment and an experienced crew sets up camp each night and prepares four meals a day.
For more information and to register online visit www.tourdafrique.com