Ulrich Bartholmoes, called “uba” is 37 years old and lives in Girona (Spain) and Munich (Germany). He started racing Grand-Fondo-like events in 2014 and discovered that the longer the races are, the more elevation gain they have and the harder they are, the more he liked them. In 2018 he came 4th on the Tour du Mont Blanc in France. Researching even longer races, he discovered bike packing and the world of unsupported ultra races.
Since he entered his first unsupported race – the Transpyrenees – in 2019 he participated in 19 ultra long distance events with something between 700 and 4.000 kilometers nonstop. Ulrich is the overall winner of 15 ultracycling races and record holder for the fastest know time on several routes. He has a burning passion for ultracycling – an athlete who loves extreme challenges.
Besides riding the bike for fun and fast Ulrich runs his own management consulting business to provide companies all over europe with digital transformation services. From his ultracycling experiences he facilitates lectures and executive workshops about the impact of endurance on leadership and is offering comprehensive marketing services around endurance and outdoor sports to brands. His adventures you can follow on Social Media channels:
Event Schedule 2023
Never stop exploring! Ulrich is continously looking for new destinations to ride, for new events, for new races, new challenges, new projects and ideas – simply for things he never did before. His passion is not only to discovery and cross bounderys of all kinds, but also to share his experience in form of videos and movies, workshops or lectures.
The main pillars for 2023 are already planned, but for the time between those main races there are still some ideas for smaller events, FKT projects and similar. Also, if you are an event organizer, an agency or simply someone who wants to share an idea – say hello and send us a message.
05th February 2023
Race around Rwanda
Kigali, Rwanda 1.000km / 17.000vm
29th April 2023
The Traka 360 Gravel Race
360km / 4.000vm
02nd June 2023
Emporia Kansas, USA
560km / 4.500vm
09th June 2023
4.300km / 50.000vm
02nd September 2023
780km / 16.000vm
21th November 2023
1.000km / 15.000vm
L’Esperit de Girona 2023
L’Esperit de Girona – a 730km & 25.000vm MTB race. The route has been painstakingly pieced together from scratch by ultra-endurance cyclist James Hayden. Drawing on his many years of experience competing in the world’s toughest bike-packing races, this event will take riders on a journey through some of the most amazing riding that the province of Girona has to offer.
So – have you ever done a 30km hike in high alpine terrain at 2.800m during night? No? Considered to take your Mountainbike with you just to carry another 13 kilograms up and down rocky paths up there? No? But this is what it took and what Ulrich just did to finish L´Esperit de Girona in 3d 14h 10m.
This time is far beyond what James believed is possible on the route, the route that won against all riders in 2022 so that nobody was able to finish last year. To finish in this time Ulrich has covered around 6,000 meters vertical per 24 hours. 6,000 hard earned off-road meters with much hiking in the wild mountainous terrain of northern Catalonia with rough gravel tracks, winding singletracks and exposed hiking trails.
See more details on www.lesperitdelbikepacking.org
Tour Divide 2023
The Tour Divide is the most recognized and important off-pavement cycling route in the United States, if not the world. The route crisscrosses the Continental Divide from north to south starting in Banff, Alberta, Canada and finishing at the US/Mexico border in Antelope Wells, New Mexico. The numbers: 4.440 kilometer, 51.000m of elevation gain. Throughout the route riders encounter wild river valleys, remote mountain wilderness, open grasslands, high desert, and towards the southern end of the route, an amazing span through the Chihuahuan Desert.
Ulrich Bartholmoes finished first in the 2023 Tour Divide with a time of just 14 days, 3 hours, and 23 minutes. Ulrich now has the second-fastest time in Tour Divide history, second to the one and only Mike Hall, who finished his 2016 ride in 13 days, 22 hours, 51 minutes—a course record that still stands today. Considering the amount of rain and mud and the fact that uba spent 12 hours stranded in a porta-potty due to impassable peanut butter mud in the Great Basin, it’s impressive that he almost achieved a sub-14-day ride.
Catalunya Trail Titan 2023
The Catalunya Trail Titan – a 700km & 14.000vm Gravel / MTB race. The route is not to be underestimated, it goes through the most scenic areas of Catalonia, but is also really hard and rough in places.
I was Ulrichs very first race on the mountainbike and another good opportunity to test the BMC Twostroke setup for Tour Divide – the terrain and the km-to-elevation-ratio will be a kind of similar what he expect to find in the US, even if the clear difference in altitude makes this one here in Catalunya a bit more pleasant.
To finish the race with the victory after only 39 hours – Ulrich would never have believed that. Especially not during or after the cold night in the Pyrenees. Although he was well equipped for the -2 degrees at an altitude of 1,900m, he had problems with his nutrition. At 6am he felt completely empty and didn’t even know how he was going to manage the next 10km. Later on, he threw up and couldn’t eat anything for another couple of hours – it wasn’t a feast, but overcoming such situations is part of the game.
See more details on www.catalunyatrail.com
Race around Rwanda 2023
The Race around Rwanda is a 1.000km mixed terrain race over a spectacular route around the beautiful Rwandan countryside. About 50% of the race will be gravel roads – if it rains, the red soil turns into clayey mud which can make cycling not only challenging, but probably impossible as well. Rwanda is known as the land of a thousand hills thanks to the endless ‘ups and downs’ in this stunning country – so some climbing with 17.000 vertical meters is part of the route. The breathtaking scenery alongside with extraordinary biodiversity, with incredible wildlife living throughout its volcanoes, mountain rainforests and sweeping plains makes it a very special route to race.
Ulrich added some more ingredients to make it even harder. Right before the start he was suddenly struck by a high fever. Staying in bed 4 days before the race with a fever of 39.8 degrees was anything but appropriate. After heading the race for the first 24h and 400km he had to drop out due to health reasons. A documentary was produced on this adventure – it will be launched later on in 2023.
Across Andes 2022
Across Andes is a 1.000 km long mixed terrain race: 50% are varied gravel with rough washboards, loose gravel or sandy sections that force to push the bike. Gravel in Chile is very different from anything Urich knew from Europe and what we can imagine. Coarse gravel with sometimes fist-sized loose stones make large parts of the route an epic challenge. The other 50% are tarmac but no less challenging: Although the elevation profile suggests some flat sections, many of the road sections are very hilly with short, very crisp climbs that take some tribute.
1.028km, 13.052m of climbing in 49 hours 25min with less than 3 hours total stop time and no sleep at all – those are the stats related to Ulrichs victory on Across Andes Race 2022 in Chile. He finished the race early in the morning of the second day while improving the fastest know time on the route by more than 18 hours.
Ride across Girona Challenge 2022
Tarmacways.cc has created an 700km ultracycling challenge in Catalonia / Spain. End of August more than 30 riders met near Girona to tackle the route that features all the diverse landscape around the popular cycling city – like the Pyrenees, the Costa Brava and the Volcanic zone of La Garrotxa. While Ulrich wasn’t able to join the race, the idea to start racing right on his doorstep fascinated him a lot. And this idea just wouldn’t let go of him – so he took this this challenge “at home”: 700km and 12,000m of climbing through the province of Girona – solo, without support, against the clock and against himself.
In the end, Ulrich arrived after 29 hours and 12mins at the finish – 4 hours 43mins faster than the previous best time. But that was not the biggest achievement for the Challenge: much better is that Ulrich managed not to stop for more than 14 minutes during the whole ride – even though he was racing without support as usual and had to get all food and drinks in shops on the way. This was by far his most efficient ride so far.
See more details on www.tarmacways.cc
Badlands – a race for the hard-bitten gravel lovers. 780km and more than 15.000m of elevation through some of the most remote and challenging places in Europe: the stunning forests of Sierra de Huétor, the deserts of Gorafe and Tabernas, the wild coasts of Cabo de Gata and the steep climbs of La Alpujarra. Everything located around the Sierra Nevada in Andalusia in southern Spain.
Ulrich spend 2 days on the beach. And in deserts. And in the mountains. And on many more stunning places of this unique region. He arrived after 1d 1 hr 45 mins – that’s only 15mins more than last year even if the route was 30km longer. It was tough, as expected. Even a crash on day one, making a Superman pose, flying over the handlebar but landing harsh on the chest couldn’t stop Ulrich, it just added some spice. So Ulrich did what he came for – enjoying it more than in 2021. It wasn’t as easy as it sounds, but looks like he did pretty well.
Transcontinental Race 2022
The Transcontinental Race (short: TCR) is the best known and most prestigious event in the self-supported race category worldwide. At the sharp end it is a beautifully hard bicycle race, simple in design but complex in execution: Factors of self-reliance, logistics, navigation and judgement burden racers minds as well as their physiques. In order to master the challenge, Ulrich has prepared very intensively and focused over 7 months. Training, planning the route, testing the setup.
While Ulrich was leading the race for a long time, he wasnt that lucky this time. Certainly, the placement does not correspond to what he had wished for, planned and imagined in advance – but the result is definitely his greatest victory over himself and over all doubts, against all adversities and obstacles. If you believe hard enough, you can achieve all goals and make the impossible possible – even a finish in a 4,326 kilometre race under circumstances with knee problems, crashes, defects and other logistical challenges like closed ferries.
Ulrich finished 6th in 10d 1h 51min after riding 4.326 kilometers across 14 countries. See more details on the TCR Race report.
Madrid Barcelona 2022
Madrid to Barcelona is an ultracycling event organized by PedAlma.cc – participants have to complete the 680km on paved road and +7000m of climbing. Its a race following a predefined GPS track provided by the organizer. Besides that, it is an unsupported event. At first glance, the route connecting two major Spanish cities doesn’t sound particularly exciting. But this is a misconception – the 5 checkpoints Cifuentes, Nuévalos, Belchite, Mequinenza and St. Coloma de Queralt reveal the diversity that Spain has to offer. Dry, hot plains. Fertile, wonderfully green hills. Impressive valleys.
Ulrichs goal was to significantly improve the personal best of 624km in 24 hours. With over 60 starters, he set off on Friday evening at 6pm. Until sunset still in blazing heat, but the night promised to be accordingly somewhat cooler and more pleasant. After about 80 kilometers Ulrich was able to break away from the small leading group and from then on rode his race alone. At checkpoint 1 after 125 kilometers, he already had a lead of 5 minutes and was able to extend it to almost an hour by the time he reached the finish. 680km in 23hrs 25mins. See more details on PedAlma.cc.
The Capitals Challenge 2022
On April 4 at 6:00 AM, the Ulrich Bartholmoes X The Capitals Cahllenge began in Barcelona. The objective of the Challenge was that Ulrich Bartholmoes rode the track of The Capitals (800Kms +16,000m) alone against the clock. As fast as possible. The weather situation of a cold wave and snow a few weeks before the Challenge forced us to alter the original track, eliminating the areas for tracks at more than 1200m in the Pyrenees to avoid having to walk up to 30km on snow with the bike.
After 51h and 23min Ulrich arrived again at the Arc de Triomf in Barcelona. The same point from where he had started. 858Km and 15856m of elevation gain in between, along with many anecdotes, experiences and places that he had never pedaled before. See more details on pedalma.cc-Blog.
The project was meant to promote The Capitals as an ultracyclcing, gravel and adventure event. The event will start on July 24, 2022 in Barcelona. Participants will have to complete the 800Km of tracks, roads, paths and tarmac and +16000m following the GPS track that we have created for the event that will connect the four Catalan capitals (Barcelona, Girona, Lleida and Tarragona) reaching the Pyrenees passing through Puigcerdà. Therefore during the ride a documentary was produced:
Gran Guanche Road 2022
Connected by four separate ferry journeys, GranGuanche with 600km begins in the black lava fields, white houses and green vineyards of Lanzarote, crosses the remote deserts of Fuerteventura, the deep ravines and enormous cliffs of Gran Canaria, the enchanted forests and huge volcano of Tenerife and, finally, the deep ravines and misty forests of La Gomera.
The ferries really are a game changer at GranGuanche and make the whole ride unique. Also, because of all the infrastructure at the ferry ports on each island, if you didn’t want to race hard and go through the night you could spend a day doing each island and know for sure that there would be good places to eat and to stay at the ports. Then you can rest and really enjoy the incredible landscapes and the views. GranGuanche is amazing for many reasons and is a wonderful enabler for riders making the step-up to ultra-racing and these kind of crazy adventures. uba completed the course – comprising 14,000m of climbing – in 38hrs 33mins. See more details on granguanche.com
Badlands is a fixed route gravel race covering just under 750km in distance and a whisker shy of 15,000m climbing. This year’s riders will spend 65% of their time off road, and some of that including alpine and singletrack. The remaining route flows over paved roads, but with 253m of cobbles included – just because everyone loves some cobbles. The route crosses some of the most remote, diverse and challenging places in Europe. Because the route was not challenging enough the roster was spiced up with some amazing participants: Team GB triathlete and double-olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee, German ex-pro and current Directeur Sportif Paul Voss, italian ex-pro Mattia de Marchi, Canadian Girona resident Christian Meier (and ex-pro), MTB european champion Sebastian Breuer, …, Sofiane Sehili and many more.
It was a challenging game against the heat, the tough conditions for resupply, against fatigue and exhaustion. Totally unexpected Ulrich rolled to the finish line as the second finisher and collected his first gravel ultra-cycling medal after 2d 1h 23m of travel through the Badlands wild country. See more details on transiberica.com & dotwatcher.cc
As an free route event the Transibérica required ones more my own plan to reach the 9 mandatory checkpoints in spain and portugal. The route covered some of the most beautiful, diverse and challenging villages and mountain pass of the Iberian Peninsula. All in all I with 2.950km and 35.000m of elevantion gain it was a tough ride – spices up by an incident with an broken derailleur which cause a stopping time so solve it of more than 21 hours. Pushed back from position 1 to 9 it was almost impossible to get back to the head of the race. But with an incredible ride showing not only physical capacity to make kilometers dissolve under the wheels, but a depth of resilience and mental fortitude to not be stopped by the many challenges thrown in the way Ulrich claimed the victory again after 6d 14h 13min.
TransIberica Ultracycling’s self-supported Transpyrenees event is a 1,050 km single-stage road race. The route starts at the Mediterranean village of Llançà, located in the comarca of Alt Empordà in Catalonia, and finishes in the Basque city of San Sebastián, located in the south of the Bay of Biscay. The route involves 24.000m of elevation gain and includes a total of 36 Cols, with the highest mountains pass in The Pyrenees (Envalira, 2.409m) and the special Col for the 2021 edition, the amazing Arcalís.
On the 29th of June 2021 – exactly two weeks after racing the B-Hard Ultrarace in Bosnia, Ulrich took his second victory on this demanding race and even set a new route record within 47hrs 38mins to cross the Pyrenees from east to west. The podium was completed with an outstanding performance of Sofiane (50 hrs 28 mins) and Omar (50 hrs 29 mins) who delivered an epic sprint to the finish line.
B-Hard Ultrarace 2021
The B-Hard Ultrarace with the 1200 km route has been carefully crafted to represent Bosnia & Herzegovina “in a nutshell” and passes through National Parks, along rivers, lakes and waterfalls, over 1984 Winter Olympics ski-centers, by UNESCO World Heritage sites and generally over stunning (and hilly) terrain. It covers 14.000m of elevation gain.
In June 2021 Ulrich (Cap #R1) finished 1st on the B-Hard Ultrarace within 51hrs 15mins. With just something like 6hrs stopping during a bit more than two days and partially challenging weather conditions (heat and pooring rain) it was a demanding race with strong competitors like Nathalie Baillon, Sam Thomas and Ben Davis.
See more details on bhardultrarace.com …
Two Volcano Sprint 2020
After a crazy and COVID shaked season in mid of October 2020 it was time to come back to the Two Volcano Sprint in south italy for a last serious race in this year. Saying “serious” this time would have a special meaning – cause the roster promised to bring the best of the best athlets of our sport to the starting line at the bottom of Mt. Vesuvius. With nearly 1.100km to ride and 24.000m of elevation to climb the track ensures to appear as a nice challenge.
Ulrich Bartholmoes (Cap #16) wins the Two Volcano Sprint 2020 with an incredible time of 52hrs 50min, shaving more than 7 hours off his winning time last year. With just a little sleep it was a demanding chase where Sofiane Sehili and Omar Di Felice round off the top three finishing second and third respectively. Sofiane finishes in 55hrs:14mins, Omar in 55hrs:45min.
Three Peaks Bike Race 2020
End of July 2020, the Three Peaks Bike Race was kicked off in Vienna to cross the Alps from east to west heading to Nice – while crossing three iconic peaks on the way. Despite some parcours next to those peaks it was a free route unsupported race featuring the Großglockner (Austria), the Col du Sanetsch (Switzerland) and the mighty Mt. Ventoux (France). All in all the route was about 2.000 kilometers long and covered about 27.000 meters of elevation gain.
Riding this race across the Alps already looks like a challenge for itself – but riding it with some of the worlds best athletes in the ultracycling scene was an additional, extraordinary experience. Within 3 days, 23 hours and 23 minutes Ulrich finished the whole track as the first rider arriving in Nice. With only 2 hours and 45 minutes of sleep this race was pushing him far beyond the limits that he knew so far.
Two Volcano Sprint 2019
In November 2019, the Two Volcano Sprint was organized by Juliana Buhring – well known as the fastest woman to circumnavigate the globe by bike. The 2VS is a single-stage, unsupported bicycle challenge starting and finishing at south Italy’s two iconic volcanoes, Mt. Vesuvio and Mt. Etna. The route crosses the panoramic Amalfi and Cilento coastline before heading into the Appenine mountains and descending finally into Sicily. With just over 1.100 kilometers and 24,000+ meters of elevation gain, the 2VS is an epic challenge for even the strongest of cyclists.
Ulrich Bartholmoes claimed victory despite being forced to climb Mt. Etna with only one functioning leg and Shermer’s neck. He rode 1100km and climbed 24,000 metres of ascent, arriving at the finish line in Nicolosi in a time of 59 hours and 58 minutes. Considering the time and energy-draining mechanical problems that Ulrich faced early on his race, this was a truly epic ride and an perfect closing of the racing season 2019.
Transibérica Ultracycling Race 2019
Transibérica is the unsupported and non-stop road cycling challenge across the Iberian Peninsula. The event is Free Route, what means the riders must design and follow their own plan to reach the mandatory Checkpoints where validate their Brevet Cards. The Checkpoints are designed to reach some of the most beautiful, diverse and challenging villages and mountain pass of the Iberian Peninsula, getting an route of over 3.500km in 2019.
Ulrich Bartholmoes managed to claim victory in 9d 20h 33min.
Transpyrenees Ultracycling Race 2019
Transpyrenees is the unsupported and single stage road cycling challenge across The Pyrenees. As a rider you must follow the official 1.000km route from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic coast climbing some of the most mythical and challenging Cols of The Pyrenees such as Pailhères, Peyresourde, Tourmalet, Luz-Ardiden, Aubisque or La Pierre Saint-Martin.
In 2019 the Transpyrenees Ultracycling Race was Ulrichs first long distance race from the village of Llançà (ES) with this finish at the city of San Sebastián (ES). He completed this epic challenge within 02 days, 02 hours, 46 minutes as the overall winner.
- Podcast: Outside is free – Tour Divide
- Podcast: Autsaid – Nichtangriffspakt im Dixi-Klo
- Podcast: Bikes or Death – Winning Tour Divide
- Podcast: Graveltime – Der mit dem Bär singt
- Podcast: Sitzfleisch by Christoph Strasser – Preparing for the US
- Podcast: Sitzfleisch by Christoph Strasser – Transcontinental
- Podcast: BMC Riders Digest – Transcontinental
- Postcast: Outside is free – Transcontinental
- Podcast: Eingepackt
- Podcast: Sitzfleisch by Christoph Strasser (2/2)
- Podcast: Sitzfleisch by Christoph Strasser (1/2)
- Podcast: Outside is free
- Podcast: ciclofactoria
- Podcast: evanoui.cc
- Postcast: lebenslaenglich.bike
- Podcast: cyclestation.com
- Podcast: Die wundersame Fahrradwelt
- Bikepacking.com: uba wins 2023 L´Esperit de Girona
- Strava.com: 2023 Tour Divide Winner
- Escapecollective.com: How the Tour Divide was won
- Outside.com: Winning the Tour Divide 2023
- Gravel-Collective.de: Tour Divide Coverage
- Bikepacking.com: uba wins 2023 Tour Divide
- Rouleur.com: Mark Gunter Photo Awards Shortlist
- Bikepacking.com: uba wins 2022 Across Andes
- Bikeradar.com: 4,300km in 10 days
- road.cc: Best bike for TCR
- BikeBild.de: How to train?
- Kogel.cc: The Traka 360 vs. uba
- Cyclist.co.uk: From IT to ultra cycling
- Apidura.com: Never scratch
- RawCyclingMag: unbeaten & eager for more
Gravel Bike 02-2023
In September 2023, the german print magazine Gravel Bike published a feature about Jonas Deichmann and Ulrich. Two german long distance athletes with extreme journeys through the US – from north to south and east to west.
More details on gravel-bike.de …
BIKE BILD 04-2023
In September 2023, the german print magazine BIKE BILD published a multi-page interview on my big victory on Tour Divide in the US. I chatted with the editor in chief Mathias Müller who rode the Tour Divide the year before as well and published a book about his adventure.
More details on bike-bild.de …
Planete Gravel 03-2022
In March 2022, the French magazine Planète Gravel published a multi-page report on my first gravel race: Badlands in Andalusia. A great story, enriched with wonderful photos – framed in many other exciting contents and about cycling off paved roads.
More details on bike-cafe.fre …
Rennrad Issue 11-2020
The german cycling magazine “Rennrad” is one of the most popular publications about roadcycling in germany – published in print and online. In its printed october / november issue the “Rennrad” created an large scale reportage about the adventure and victory of Ulrich Bartholmoes at the ThreePeaksBikeRace from Vienna to Nice in July 2020.
More details on radsport-rennrad.de …
Rennrad Issue 01-2020
The editors of the german cycling magazine “Rennrad” are delighted to continue on the partnership with uba cycling. In the 01-2020 issue an large story with a lot of stunning photos was published about Ulrich Bartholmoes victory on the Transibérica Ultracycling Race in september 2019.
More details on radsport-rennrad.de …
Rennrad Issue 09-2019
The german cycling magazine “Rennrad” is one of the most popular publications about roadcycling in germany – published in print and online. In its printed september issue the “Rennrad” created an seven pages reportage about the adventure and victory of Ulrich Bartholmoes at his first ultracycling race – the Transpyrenees Ultracycling Race – in June 2019.
More details on radsport-rennrad.de …