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Race Across Germany

The "Race Across Germany" is an annual ultracycling bike race across Germany. At the beginning of June, the West-East variant of the Race Across Germany starts from Aachen (West Germany) to Görlitz (East Germany) with a route length of 780 kilometers, 7,800 meters in altitude and a time limit of 44 hours. A few weeks later in early July, the north-south variant of the Race Across Germany starts from Flensburg (Northern Germany) to Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Southern Germany) with a route length of 1,100 kilometers, 7,500 meters of altitude and a time limit of 60 hours. Both variants of the ultra cycling Race Across Germany are held in different categories as an official event on a clearly defined route, with a set of rules and with an official race management.

Ultracycling Germany Deutschland Time Trail
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Origin story

The organizer of the Race Across Germany is Dieter Göpfert, who describes himself as an “organizer with passion” and organizes the events with heart and soul. The Race Across Germany is gaining popularity in the ultracycling scene every year and the number of participants has been growing steadily for several years. The races are family-oriented, the focus is on the sporting performance of each individual and there is little or hardly any large supporting program surrounding the race.

Extreme sports in focus

Dieter Göpfert rode the "Styrkeprøven" in 1998, an established ultracycling event in Norway which runs non-stop from Trondheim to Oslo. On the way, the question arises as to why there is no similar event in Germany. A year later, Dieter Göpfert and five friends meet to cross Germany on a 1,200-kilometer route between Flensburg and Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Using a support vehicle, the small group navigates south almost exclusively along major federal highways and manages to cover the route in less than 48 hours (time: 46 hours and 20 minutes).


In 2000, 18 people took part in the organized group trip and the number of participants continued to increase in the following years. It was not until 2014 that the event was offered as a timed event for individual starters and was held parallel to the guided group trip until 2016 - there was also the variant from Aachen to Görlitz as a guided group trip until 2017. Since 2017, the Race Across Germany is no longer a group ride and individual starters as well as teams take to the track every year to compete for the best times.

Rankings and times

The course records for the Race Across Germany from Aachen to Görlitz in the solo starter category are around 25 hours and for the Race Across Germany from Flensburg to Garmisch-Partenkrichen they are around 36 hours. Official times can be found on the event website.

Race Across Germany Flensburg Garmisch Partenkirchen
Ultra Cycling Germany
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From Flensburg to Garmisch-Partenkirchen

The current route of the Race Across Germany from Flensburg to Garmisch-Partenkirchen will be sent to event participants as a GPX track before the race. The start is at the harbor tip in downtown Flensburg. There is usually a lot of traffic and a lot of excitement around the small starting arch where the mayor of the city welcomes the participants.

North to South

The route is not closed and, as in ultracycling, the event usually takes place on public roads. After a few meters in altitude in Flensburg, the route starts in a slightly undulating profile on small to medium-sized roads through northern Germany. Depending on the wind, weather and athlete, the first 450 kilometers to the northern edge of the Harz pass by on the first day of the event. The route in northern Germany is not very mountainous, but not completely flat either.

Exhausting nights

The first night for the top riders on the 1,100 kilometer long route often begins at the foothills of the Harz low mountain range: around 18 short climbs, winding roads and constant directional changes. and changes in incline slow down the pace. The route does not lead through the Harz, but through the hilly Harz foothills, foothills of the Eichfeld, the Werra Valley, past the Rhön and through the Franconian wine country. The climbs are neither particularly long nor particularly steep, but extend down to around two thirds of the racetrack into northern Bavaria: "If you have reached the time station in Kitzingen, you will most likely make it to Garmisch-Partenkirchen," said the race organizer Dieter Göpfert in an interview.

To the Alps

The last part of the route leads through Middle Franconia into the Donauries, crosses the Danube near Donauwörth and leads past Augsburg towards Ammersee down to the edge of the foothills of the Alps. The finish of the Race Across Germany until 2022 was on the take-off table of the large Olympic ski jump in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, which is also the highest point on the route. The event takes place in summer because the nights are short and the days are long. The wind mostly blows largely from the south to the west. You have to expect rain at the Race Across Germany, but there have been years when not a drop fell from the sky.

Race Across Germany Flensburg Aachen Görlitz
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Race across Germany Garmisch Partenkirchen Aachen Görlitz

From Aachen to Görlitz

As with the Race Across Germany from Flensburg to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, event participants will also be given the current route before the race as a GPX in the variant from Aachen to Görlitz track sent. The start of the 780 kilometer long route is on the market square in Aachen, where the mayor of the city welcomes the participants.

West to East

Here, too, the route is not cordoned off and, as in ultracycling, the event usually takes place on public roads. The first part of the route leads along the foothills of the Eifel to Bonn. There is often a lot of traffic, lots of traffic lights and in large parts there is no contact with the support teams.

Big cities

The route now leads up and down many small streets through the Westerwald and Siegerland. After this strenuous part of the route, the elevation profile of the route flattens out again and leads across Hesse to Bad Hersfeld, which is the first time station.

Hill profile

For many athletes, they head from here into the night and continue east over a wavy profile. In the last part of the route behind the Wilsdruff time station, a few more meters of altitude accumulate. The destination of the event is in Görlitz at the party area of the European Marathon, which usually takes place there on the Sunday of the event weekend.


If you are interested in taking part in the Race Across Germany or would like to improve in ultracycling, then the ultracycling workshop makes sense for you.

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Categories and rules

In the solo-supported version of the Race Across Germany, an athlete, at least one support vehicle and at least two supervisors form a team. The event is also offered for teams of 2 or 4 in two categories: In the “team relay” only one athlete is on the bike at a time, whereas in the “team” all athletes on the team complete the entire route. Basically, the variants are all evaluated separately, with the solo-supported variant of the Race Across Germany being the variant with the largest number of participants.

With and without support

In the solo unsupported version of the Race Across Germany, the athletes start without a support team and have to get their own supplies at gas stations, supermarkets or bakeries along the way. There are no gyms or other overnight accommodations and in some cases there is no shopping option over long distances. On the Race Across Germany route from Flensburg to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, there is traditionally a bus stop in Bilderlahe, which is around kilometer 500, where local residents distribute small snacks and drinks. It is also possible to start as a team without support.

Safety comes first

The rules of the events aim to ensure the safety of the participants, but still allow as much freedom as possible. For example, there is no requirement to sleep (most participants still sleep between 0 and 10 hours). The route must be covered on the specified GPS track and the participants will be randomly checked via GPS tracking and by the race management.

More rules

The route can, among other things, lead through unpredictable construction sites: Here you have to decide at your own discretion whether a passage is possible or a detour has to be taken. Slipstreaming is strictly prohibited, whereas different types of bicycles such as tandems, recumbents, faired recumbents or handbikes are permitted (but are judged separately).

Ultracycling film

The Race Across Germany runs from Flensburg to Garmisch-Partenkirchen through the whole of Germany. The route is approximately 1,100 kilometers long. In the film you can find out more about ultracycling and see footage from the Race Across Germany from minute 8.

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