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  • claude cat

    Great effort. However, I’m conflicted because Lael & Deutsch rode together for such a long way, in what is meant to a solo event. Thoughts?

    • winkybiker

      I’m slightly more than conflicted. It sounds like the winner cheated.

    • It’s solo, sure. But that doesn’t prevent you from riding alongside other riders!

      • claude cat

        Solo is solo isn’t it?

    • l_a_91

      Read the rules, you’re allowed to ride with others but drafting isn’t permitted. They sode side by side all the time they were together.

      • geoff.tewierik

        Pics like this are up on the TransAm site.


        There’s no advantage to be gained from riding next to someone in a race like this, just from drafting…

        Crosswinds much?

        • claude cat

          Isn’t part of the challenge dealing with the loneliness of the ride? Technically within the rules, but morally?
          If you don’t think there was an advantage riding together, well, ok lets disagree.

          • mass1ve

            IMHO, Riding together because you ended up together on any particular day is fine. Coordinating your efforts so as to ride together day-after-day is no longer solo – that’s pairs. There are many advantages to riding together eg shared navigation, shared lights when riding at night, increased safety, someone to talk to, shared decision making, help with mechanicals etc. Pairing up surely goes against the spirit of “solo unsupported”. It’s not “non-drafting, unsupported”. To be clear, I think the rules need some sorting out, not that the riders have cheated.

            • WateryWilly

              “help with mechanicals” – anyone who does this would be disqualified – probably both of them. But nothing in the rules prevents people from riding together, but if one breaks down, the other can wait and watch, but offer no assistance. I don’t know why folks have an issue with this – watch the movie “Inspired to ride” – there’s a whole lot of “riding together” that happens, and as long as you’re not drafting, or assisting each other in any way, it’s fine. As for “shared navigation” – against the rules. But what keeps someone from just following someone else at a short distance? According to you guys, that should be against the rules. How does one pass someone else, then? You’re going to have a time limit on how long one rider can be within sight of another rider? How would that work? How would that be enforced? Riding together – usually means one person is riding faster than they otherwise would, but also means the other person is usually riding slower than they otherwise would. i think you guys are nitpicking.

              • Danny Boyd

                anyone who actually rides a bike, knows there’s a massive difference riding alone, and “beside” someone… its a really long way, and i dont doubt for 1 minute they both drafted at times, going by the morales/ethics they employed from the very beginning to the end.

      • Dimitris Mavropoulos

        U are very funny man!!!!

      • Danny Boyd

        side by side IS drafting. you dont ride a bike do you?

    • AK Peach

      We weren’t there riding so we can ‘armchair quarterback’ all day if we want. Lael is a pretty honest and humble person, rarely rides with anyone. It is difficult to find someone that rides the same as you (pace, etc.). Since Lael came in almost 8 hours ahead of Evan, one might wonder if she assisted him more than he assisted her. If you watched Inspired to Ride, the 2014 race had a pair of Italian men riding together who taunted Juliana along the way. They couldn’t believe they were being beat by a woman. One has to wonder, if it were two men instead of Lael & Evan, would we be having this same discussion?

      • Writingprincess

        Amen. This is so ridiculous that it was even brought up. The chick won by HOURSSSS…not minutes she not only beat everyone else she dusted them. To say that she “cheated,” is ridiculous and smacks of sexism. It’s not even on the table that she cheated. She won. Period. There’s no asterisk. No addendum. No commentary needed.

        • claude cat

          I’m surprised you even bring this context up. Of course the same question would have been asked if Evan won.

        • AMK3072

          That’s your agenda to claim it is sexism.

          It isn’t. I couldn’t care about the gender who did it, it’s the individuals actions that count. They rode together for days and days. That is not ‘solo’.

        • Chris

          You’ve got to be kidding. Embarrassing stuff.

      • Danny Boyd

        yes we would be having this discussion. dont forget stephen’s convenient short cut

    • 2_Scott

      I disagree completely. It’s ridiculous to assume that on a Trans Am race the riders wouldn’t encounter one another and even more ridiculous to assume that if they did they would alter their course so as to avoid the other rider.

      • claude cat

        They road more than half the distance together. It was meant to be a solo, assisted road race.

        • WateryWilly

          “It was meant to be a solo, un-assisted road race”. Riding with someone else does NOT mean “assisted”. If you each navigate your own ride, then that is not “assisted”. If you discuss which way to go, then THAT is “assisted”, and not allowed. It’s very nuanced. If one breaks down, the other can wait, but not offer any – ANY – assistance, not even advice, but they’re certainly allowed to wait and watch.

          • AMK3072

            Riding alongside someone may not be ‘assisted’ but it also means it isn’t solo.

            Solo by it’s very definition means you do it on your own.

            • WateryWilly

              Ok. Solo. I guess that means you have to forage for food, because if you talk to the guy at McDonald’s to order a burger, that’s not “solo”. And you can’t go to a bike shop to get your broken bike fixed, because that’s not “solo”. Just how “solo” is this event supposed to be?
              I know, I know, NOW I’m being ridiculous. But it’s a fair question – How “solo” is this event supposed to be?

              • AMK3072

                Have you looked at the Trans Am web page?
                That is pretty clear about how ‘solo’ it is meant to be. Where it is vague is on the riding with someone but I’d say that doing that is not in the spirit of the race.

      • AMK3072

        It’s not about altering the course. There is no scope to do that.

        It’s about whether riding as a pair for days on end, resting in the exact same towns is in the spirit of the race.

      • 2_Scott

        I’ll look forward to both of your solo attempts next year.

    • run

      Awesome work, Lael! I couldn’t imagine doing 375 km a day for 18 days straight as being humanly possible.
      As for the people contesting the results, let the organizers who set the rules decide. Oh, they have already decided :-) And if you still disagree, sign up for next year!

  • So impressive!!!

  • JJ

    so we are deleting posts now huh?

  • Valeria Maselli

    There’s a mistake in the article, it was Streich, who was in the lead at the moment, who made a navigation mistake not Wilcox.

  • Chaotic310

    If you watch the documentary “Inspired to Ride,” two Italian riders biked together the whole time and came in with the same time. Nobody complained about that.

    • winkybiker

      The woman they were so desperate to beat (they accused her of cheating) eventually beat them didn’t she?

      • Chaotic310

        Yes, Juliana Buhring came in 5th overall (20:23:46), the Italians came in 7th/8th (21:00:42).

    • Danny Boyd

      they didnt ride the entire way together, and there was plenty of talk about it during the event. at times they were close… but what evan and lael did wes entirely different from the beginning to the end. that was Pairs riding, not solo.

    • Chris

      Had they won I’d imagine there would have been complaints.

  • Valeria Maselli

    I’ve been following the race for the whole time, Lael was doing her own race and, in the last few days, she was pushing very hard to take the lead. If you watch the tracker (you can reply it) you can see it doesn’t seem Evan and Lael are riding together in a way that suggest drafting, at least not to me. It was quite clear in the end that Lael was pushing stronger than Evan but the race was solid in Steffen’s hands until he made that navigation mistake and everything went wild. I guess there wouldn’t have been any fuss if Lael wasn’t a woman, sorry for nice men out there but I see some envy out there.

    • AMK3072

      Damn straight there would be a fuss.

      Lael’s efforts in setting a new record are to be commended.

      It’s not about the drafting, they clearly weren’t. It’s about whether riding side by side for hours and hours is really ‘solo’. Just having someone to chat with, have a laugh about something you might see out on the road, etc would make it a very different experience to someone battling away on their own.

      • Zoutpiel

        They were often a mile or more apart too

        • AMK3072

          Is that based on the spot tracker because that doesn’t actually tell you anything?

    • Danny Boyd

      there’s no envy on my part at all, Evan’s result is also tarnished in my eyes.

  • mightyatom03

    Lael did work hard to close the gap between her and Steffen at the end, but this article doesn’t mention why Steffen lost his remaining lead–it seems he woke up disoriented on Wednesday morning (and still having GPS issues) and started riding backward along the course. Lael didn’t catch him–he inadvertently went back to her! Then after she took off ahead of him, she did make a wrong turn, which he pointed out to her. She explains this in the video on the Facebook page. But anyway, good for her, she is amazing. (And yes it is completely within the rules for racers to ride together.)

  • Eleri

    Great report thanks. I got totally caught up in watching the race unfold and could barely separate myself from the tracker and social media in the last 24 hours. Label rode fabulously well and was strong right until the end and definitely had the better tactics in the last 2 days. Very impressive ride.

  • doug

    So the leader waiting for her after she made a mistake, then she took off because it is a race? He learned a lesson didn’t he!

    • AK Peach

      He asked her to stop. She did stop because he waited for her. After a short conversation of him asking to ride together to the end, she continued on her ride and Stephen stayed for quite some time. Lael had her own equipment malfunction to deal with as well as she had to ‘single-speed’ for quite some time before she stopped to change her battery. All of these issues are part of the race. It isn’t just physical, it is mental, technical and mechanical. Think of the bigger picture and not dwell on one mishap in an entire 18 days or more of a race. I’m sure Stephen will regret that he rode the wrong way for the rest of his life, I can’t imagine how he felt when they met. Given all the comments about Lael cheating, I’m wondering if Stephen feels that way. Or would he be appalled at all the accusations of cheating and negative comments being posted.

  • Gabrielle Gabrielli

    Fantastic story! Congratulations to Lael Wilcox and all the other amazing cyclists for their accomplishments.

  • Danny Boyd

    not a true result in my opinion. greast effort tho. in an event where you can blatantly flout the rules and even take short cuts, it certainly tarnishes what was a pretty fantastic effort

  • disqus_uTlYyFzYzE

    I read elsewhere that it was Streich who took the wrong turn. Not surprising to see all the butt hurt macho dicks immediately claiming she cheated… Their egos are suffering.

  • amanda

    I am a woman. I guess Lael didn’t cheat because she won the race but I believe she enjoyed a significant psychological advantage by riding for such a long distance with someone else. That is not my idea of riding solo.


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