Kristof Allegaert arrived at the Rumeli Hisari last night at 23:45 local time, surprising his welcome party by approaching Istanbul from the South West but arriving at the finish from the north after a last minute wrong turn resulted in one more bonus climb over the hill on which the Ottoman Fortress sits. Maybe it was the steep cobbled road from the Bosphorus that attracted the Belgian.
Allegaert’s tracker registered no significant stops since Plovdiv, Bulgaria and he rode through the night to record an astonishing finish time a little shy of 7 days and 14 hrs which was many hours ahead of estimations of what the first benchmark time would be set.
Congratulations and Chapeau to Kristof on a stunning ride.
Meanwhile there are 23 active racers still out in Europe. Richard Dunnett enters Turkey today and Matt Wilkins is pushing hard and making ground on Ed Pickup and James Jordan in the battle for 3rd.
Chris Holden became the first to take a ferry across the Adriatic, Tony Hawke was stalled at the Croatian border and will have to make a return ride to continue after finally leaving Slovenia on a train. Juliana Buhring is now in hot pursuit of the Australian.