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Steve Bate wins the Rovaniemi 150

By Col
19, Feb, 2018

Crossing the finish line in the Finnish arctic cirlcle after 150 km of cycling

©Dark Sky Media

The Rovaniemi 150 kicked off early Saturday morning with 108 competitors going for the 150 km distance, either by foot, ski or by bike. Alpkiteer Steve Bate headed out on the Sonder Vir Fortis fat bike along with his sight guide Ibrahim. 

When Alpkiteer Shaggy finished 2nd in the inaugural Rovaniemi 150 back in 2012 with a time of 31 hours 55 mins conditions were really poor and it was a gruelling race with only 3 finishers.  Well conditions were looking potentially pretty gnarly up there inside the Finnish Arctic circle this year. Conditions can play a huge part in these kinds of races as seen when fellow Alpkiteer Scott Swalling took part back in 2015 and finished the course in 12 hours 16 mins. This just goes to show how unpredictable it can be.

Beard frozen with icicles

Well Steve led the pack passed the 100k mark with the ice beard growing strong and the darkness setting in. This was potentially going to bring new challenges and his ability to see in the dark. There was some uncertainty how much the glare would effect the Retinitis Pigmentosa, but the pair pushed hard through the night and in the early hours reached the finish line to take first spot. But it wasn't easy conditions and 32hrs after the start, only 10 had finished, 18 still racing, 29 had quit.

Steve and Ibrahim standing at the finish

"It’s taken myself and Ibrahim (sight guide) 17:35 to win @Rovaniemi150 I think the first British winner (I think?) and the first disabled winner! A massive thank you all my sponsors and support. Time for a shower and bed!"

Keep an eye out for a report from Steve as soon as he's back and rested! The race was being filmed by Dark Sky Media, who are making a film about Steve's story, so we look forward to seeing some great footage and looking out for the film later in the year. 

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