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Ultra-cyclist Dad, high school teacher and Formthotics wearer reaches podium in Race Across America!

9 September 2015 - posted by Formthotics HQ

Peter Sandholt has come third in the Race Across America 2015! The event, described as 'the world's toughest endurance bicycle race', covers 4800kms coast-to-coast across the United States of America. We managed to cycle Peter in for a quick interview.

Peter Sandholt | mini profile
- Age: 38-years
- Home location: Horsens, Denmark
- Sport: Ultra-cycling
- Occupation: High school teacher. Subjects: Physical education and Social Science
- Years in current sport: 2 years

Tell us about your background and how it has led you to being an ultra-cyclist?
I’ve always been doing a lot of sport. I’m extremely competitive, so after a soccer injury I ended up cycling. The races kept getting longer and longer, and I discovered the longer the races were, the better I was.

I have been cycling for 10-12 years at a competitive level. A couple of years ago I decided to try out my fascination for ultra-cycling. I like ultra-cycling for many reasons. You need to be strong physically and mentally, and then there´s the whole adventure aspect. I like the fact that you very often ride under new conditions with constantly new demands. 

What did Race Across America 2015 involve?

  • two years of preparation
  • Peter Sandholt Race Across America 2015almost $100,000 budget
  • a 20-25 training scheme per week
  • hundreds of hours seeking sponsors and doing logistics
  • several training camps abroad
  • training at night in order to fit in the training
  • a seven person crew
  • 4.800kms of riding, 52,000 height meters

How have Formthotics helped you?
When I did my first ultra-cycling event in Slovenia in May 2014, I had huge pains under my front of my feet. It was a burning sensation. I checked the market and the Formthotics insoles seemed what I needed, so I got in contact with SportsPharma in Vejle, Denmark. They immediately were extremely friendly and helpful. I visited them, had the insoles made, and I tested them in Race Around Ireland. After that, Formthotics proved to be the product I had needed. I no longer had the pain under my feet.

Is there anyone you would like to thank?
Yes. I would like to thank my family and friends, and especially my wife, Elna. It has been tough at times through the last couple of years training for the race, and she has been outstanding. And of course I would like to thank my sponsors and my crew. It has been a privilege to represent and work with them.

What challenges you most in cycling?
In daily life, it’s combining the many hours of training with a family life (I am married with three children age 8, 6 and 4). In races, it’s the sleep deprivation. I always get sleepy before my legs get tired.

What are your biggest cycling achievements?

  • Race Across America 2015 – 3rd place
  • Race Around Ireland 2014, European Championship – 4th place
  • Race Around Slovenia 2014 – 13th place
  • Melfar 24 hour – 1st place with 775 km (at the time it was a new Danish record, it was beaten in February by 2kms)

What are your biggest personal achievements related to cycling?
Besides 3rd place in Race Across America it must be cycling the last 1,100kms in Race Around Ireland with a Shermers Neck (when cyclists who ride unusually long distances suddenly have trouble holding their neck up).

Peter Sandholt Race Across America

What was the best advice you would give about injury prevention?
Ride with the feet horizontally, ride with relatively loose shoes, make sure to pull as much as you push the pedals, have a bike fit to see, if there are any anatomical abnormalities, and of course make sure to wear some proper insoles. I recommend Formthotics.

What do you hope to achieve in the future?
I have several goals:

  • to be the first Dane to ride more than 800kms in 24 hours
  • to get under 9 days in Race Across America
  • to win Transcontinental Europe

Do you have any advice for others who want to start cycling?
Enjoy. You are working with the greatest instrument, and you will get to see places and meet people you wouldn´t have dreamed of.

What was the best advice you were ever given?
No matter what, always be true to yourself.

Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?
Quitting is not an option.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
The future challenges and experiences.

Who was your role model growing up?
Two: My dad, and my best friend, Johnny. Johnny has also been with me all the way through the last years of ultra-cycling.