Fiona Kolbinger rides her bicycle near the village of Teillay, Brittany. Damien Meyer/AFP
German cancer researcher Fiona Kolbinger won the mixed annual 4,000km (2,485 miles) cycling Transcontinental Race on Monday, becoming the first woman to do so.
"I am so happy to win. I was targeting the women's podium, I didn't think I could win the whole race.
Kolbinger, 24, arrived in Brest, north-west France, after 10 days 2hrs and 48 minutes in the saddle since starting the seventh edition of the race in Bulgaria on July 27.
German Fiona Kolbinger, right, reacts after winning the Transcontinental Race. AFP
"I am so happy to win. I was targeting the women's podium, I didn't think I could win the whole race," said Kolbinger who was taking part in her first self-supported ultra-cycling event.
"I could have attacked more, and slept less," she added.
She passed through at least seven countries and four check-points one of which was the Col du Galibier at 2,645m in the French Alps in a course where riders have to plan, research and navigate themselves.
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The more than 260 remaining competitors, racing as solo male and females as well as in pairs are expected to cross the finish line over the coming hours and days.
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