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32-year old architect enjoys cycling to his limits

KURIER, Austrian newspaper (> 600,000 readers) , 2015/07/17

32-year old architect enjoys cycling to his limits

Michael Strasser is the winner of the Austria eXtreme Triathlon 2015. Now he is approaching his next challenge in Africa. “There are many things in life which are more important than sports“ says the ultra-sports man Michael Strasser, who is actually spending the majority of his day doing sports. Born in Styria (Trautmannsdorf, Bezirk Bruck/Leitha), he is now living in Vienna, has an educational background in architecture and has worked several years in the carpenter business. Hence it is no wonder that he customized his own bike cabinet. Others go with a shoe rack in the entrance room, Michael set up his inhouse bike storage. However, first and foremost, he is a passionate triathlete who is looking for the extreme borderline. In June this year he conquered his limits and finished the Dachstein Triathlon as winner: 3.8 km swimming, partly upstream, water temperature 14 °C, 3,600 altitude difference, 186 km biking, 44 km running, 1,800 altitude difference. Certainly breathtaking (in and by nature)! The race itself is not about the finishing time rather than crossing the finish line at all. It took him 12 hours and 20 minutes of high performance.

Michael exercises 40 hours per week and is quite disciplined about his nutrition. He plants his own vegetables, gets milk and eggs from a nearby farmer, avoids animal fats and prefers high-quality oils. Moreover he has banished wheat and sugar from his dietary list. “Sport transports a lot of values, which provide me more pleasure than any other stuff. When you are successful, e.g. you cross the finish line at first, a lot of emotions are being released. That’s an incredible feeling, not comparable with anything else.” It took him 10 years to ride the road to success. Back then he participated in an Ironman triathlon just for fun (Yeap, Ironman – just for fun!). One question was bothering him after the race permanently, “Why are there others faster than me, even more than three hours?” Well, this has undoubtedly changed. Today he is the pacemaker! The price he has paid for tells another story, “During the last 10 years there were never more than days of rest in a row.” Yeah, you definitely need to enjoy torturing yourself to succeed in this kind of “business”.

As triathlete you do not earn trophy money, it is rather about glory and honor. This certainly does not pay his living costs. Thus Michael is also working as private coach, prepares individual workout schedules and exercises with his clients. “There is no difference between the CEO and the construction worker. On the bike everybody has to face the same challenge – to overcome one’s fitness level.” If you ask Michael, he will emphasize that this is the most valuable thing about sport. “It’s a passion as well a language, which is being appreciated throughout the world.” This might also be a reason why Michael is spending several weeks abroad to exercise in different countries. During winter time he is going to South Africa, enjoying the good weather condition, in summer he is spontaneously cycling to Croatia, or to Athens, or through Serbia and Macedonia. In Serbia he was deeply touched by the fallout of history. There were still gutted tanks, which were used by the children as there playground – emotional pictures which have definitely encouraged him to work on his own charity project.

Now he is facing his new challenge on the bike in Africa. He is planning to cycle from Cairo to Cape Town to set a new world record ( 11,500 km within 40 days. That is the master plan. The kickoff is scheduled for February 2016. Next to the sporting challenge he is also dedicating this project to his recently founded organization Racing4Charity in order to support unprivileged children (

As triathlete he is planning to proceed as long as his body allows him to do so. “The regeneration phase takes much longer at the age of 40. However, let’s see where my journey will take me”. Michael is aware of the fact, that his sport career can be finished from one day to the other. “It is reassuring to have a backup plan. I want to continue working as an architect once I won’t be able anymore to professionally do sports.” Until then he keeps on cycling for his passion and his charity projects.


Cairo 2 Cape

CAIRO2CAPE – A world record to be settled
1 cyclist, 11,500 km, <38 days – from Cairo to Capetown

Michael Strasser takes on the challenge to realize his charity dream. He is a passionate athlete, who benefits most from the charming borderline between passion and obsession. It is his comfort zone, where others stretch to their limits. Moreover, he is able to get the best out of his personal performance in extraordinary situations. Michael Strasser is only 32 years old and has already participated in 12 Ironman events as well as several long term bike projects (e.g. Race Across Russia – World Record 2013). As one of Austria’s most talented ultra sport athletes he feels privileged to work on his own master project in Africa – a continent which is both fascinating and intimidating in different ways.

The mission is possible and follows the one & only target: 11,500km, less than 38 days, by bike, one cyclist. Watch out Cairo, Capetown is in Michael Strasser’s view! It is not only a challenge to conquer this distance, but also to consider the different conditions on the road. Some would say these paths are not even called roads, rather potholed ways in a hilly landscape. Never mind the dark whisperer of monsoon rain, sandy storms, doughtiness as well as intense heat, which will certainly stress the equipment and physical fitness. Apart from that, the political instability in some African countries might affect the project negatively. Sweet bitterness on the road!

However, Michael Strasser takes on the challenge to snap the existing world record of 41 days and 10 hours. The Ultra Marathon Association (UMCA) will observe his race and in case of a successful outcome it will be notified at Guiness World Records. End of January 2016 he will take off with a small crew of two companions to start his adventure. Currently he is working on the milestone plan and the fine tuning of the route. The upfront preparation phase and the professional support during the race are equally important as the strong legs and mind of Michael Strasser to pedal from Africa’s north to south. Every single detail needs to be considered to design the perfect master plan.

The project Cario2Cape follows not only the athletic spirit, but also pursues the strong desire of Michael Strasser to support unprivileged children from Austria and refugees from other countries. He founded the organization Racing4Charity to connect these kids by spending time together and doing outdoor sport activities. As professional trainer Michael Strasser will organize and mentor these events. It is his personal requirement to create a surrounding which has nothing to do with politics or social imbalance rather provides a positive feeling of being alive. Sport – an attitude and energy booster for broken souls and happy faces.

The story about Cairo2Cape will be communicated via multiple social media channels:

  • LIVE tracking via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Website, Mobile-App…
  • Online pre-race reporting about the project progress
  • Press conferences (21.1./5pm vienna “wien mitte -the mall” … also after the race, victory ceremony with sponsors
  • Cooperation with radio and TV stations
  • “Roadshow” after the race (in German, English, worldwide)
  • Cinema Movie