Thursday Gervais | WGLT

Thursday Gervais

On the first day of a 24-day bicycle race across Russia, a Bloomington-Normal endurance athlete realized she probably would not finish. 

"As soon as I started on the first day and I saw this pack of men, as fast as they went off, I knew there was no way," said Thursday Gervais during GLT's Sound Ideas. She called the men's pace "wicked fast" and said it surprised everyone, including the Red Bull organizers. 

Denile Hill / Facebook

A goal to be the first woman to finish the most difficult bicycle race in the world has ended for a central Illinois endurance athlete. Thursday Gervais has withdrawn from the Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme.  

Thursday Gervais.

The Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme, starting July 18, is the longest and most difficult bike race in the world. Bloomington-Normal resident Thursday Gervais is training to be the first woman solo competitor in this 5,700-mile, 24-day race from Moscow to Vladivostok. Factor in weather, road conditions, and elevation climb and the race sounds impossible, but it's not.