Iron Pigeon

João Pombinho

ON challenge

RAAM 2023

Race Across America is one of the most respected and longest running ultra-endurance events in the world. There is no race that combines the distance, terrain and weather; no other event that tests a team’s spirit from beginning to end. The Race inspires everyone who has been a part of it – racer, crew, staff and fans alike.
Unlike the three Grand Tours (Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana and Giro de Italia), RAAM is not a stage race. RAAM is one continual stage, once the clock starts it does not stop until the finish line. It is the world’s longest time trial… the ultimate race of truth.
RAAM is about 30% longer than the Tour de France.
Moreover, racers must complete the distance in roughly half the time, with no rest days.
Racers must cycle 4800 km, across 12 states, and climb over 52.000 m. Solo racers have a maximum of 12 days to complete the race.

4880 km / 4880 km

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You can join this adventure in different ways as an individual enthusiast or a corporate sponsor. A call for donations for a charity is still active, where each kilometer counts! 

Get to know


Born in 1982, João is a Portuguese ultracyclist and triathlete. Challenge oriented right off from the starting blocks, sport is a main pillar of his journey through life.
Amongst many endurance experiences, he has completed 6 Half-Ironman, 2 Ironman (Barcelona and Frankfurt) and 1 Ironman Extreme (Norseman Black T-shirt) events. At the same time, the 5 cycling Monuments amateur events (Ronde, Paris-Roubaix Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Milan-San Remo and Giro di Lombardia), together with L’Eroica Chianti and L’Étape du Tour make up for a road racing highlights. Lately he began venturing into ultracycling, with the ultimate objective of racing RAAM – Race Across America, the dream and challenge of a lifetime as the world’s toughest ultracycling event. In 2021, after Portugal Divide and NorthCape4000, he achieved RAAM Qualified status at Race Across Germany.

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Every detail counts


Defender – Parceiros inseparáveis

Para além do design fantástico a que a Rudy já habituou, os Defender têm uma funcionalidade e flexibilidade de configuração fora de série. (…)
De 37° de Sol aberto até de chuva e vento, transições noite/dia e entradas pela noite dentro foram exemplarmente servidas pelas lentes fotocromáticas. O melhor que se pode dizer é que nunca tive que me preocupar.

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Ski Erg – First season

Acabou ontem a minha primeira época completa de SkiErg – um ergómetro de ski cross-country, uma espécie de remador na vertical que permite treinar ski de fundo.
(…) pesquisei os desportos com maior carga aeróbica e, abaixo do remo e acima do ciclismo, lá estava o ski de fundo no pódium dos desportos de endurance.

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Common questions


It depends on the part of the season and the events I’m racing, but I generally practice everyday, one way or another. 2 days high-intensity biking and 1 or 2 longer ones over the weekend. I alternate the intensity days with rowing and ski-erging. Also include 2 strength days and flexibility in the mix. Playing with the kids, e.g. Spikeball, is a huge bonus and adds diversity.

Depends on the competition:

1) for shorter, intense events, such as triathlons I go for digestability and high energy content, with some protein bundled in for muscle protection only.

2) during multi-day ultras, I try to get as many calories in as there is no way of replacing every one lost – a daily deficit is part of the deal. So, running through different types seems to work for me, aiming to get as much as possible in paralell, as frequent as digestible and with different absorption speeds: complex carbs, simple carbs and fat. An eat fest!

Sometimes there’s no active thinking, you’re just in the zone. The largest share I like to let my mind wander, think about life – early years and ideas for what’s next, family and friends. Some mental challenges and math come in handy when I get sleepy. I also listen to music (single ear always) for rhythm, audiobooks and even make short phone calls, sometimes catching up and surprising people I haven’t talked to in a long time!

There are many ways to toughness. But the first that comes to mind is Liège-Bastogne-Liège because of injury to a knee vs. steep gradients and, especially, due to the terrible weather conditions arriving at Bastogne – nearly froze during an hailstorm and took some minutes to feel my whole hands again after stopping before the return point.

N+1, where N is the current number of bikes owned

Every km counts

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