Written by Staff Writer at CNN
Claudia Pazmilera is 20 years old and has travelled more than 32,000 miles through five continents.
1 / 6 Romania’s Ana Galescu was named the best male athlete at the recent Tongan-born, Italian-trained race in the women’s class. Credit: Courtesy Valeriu van Agtmael/Paragon
The Italian international race is arguably the toughest in the world, pitting very different disciplines in a final showdown.
That week in August, among the 15,000-strong field, Pazmilera racked up two wins at roadsides along what had become her favorite route –the 41-mile (64km) single-track race through west-central France, between the small village of Chavanel and the Pontifical Catholic University of Nice.
Romania’s Ana Galescu was named the best male athlete at the recent Tongan-born, Italian-trained race in the women’s class. Credit: Courtesy Valeriu van Agtmael/Paragon
That triumph landed her the coveted 2013 World Outlaws title — an award formerly filled by more established names such as Ryan Hunter-Reay, Jamie McMurray and Greg LeMond.
“I love racing at all those race tracks because of how small they are,” says Pazmilera. “Of course being at home in front of your family makes winning even more special!”
The race offers riders an ideal opportunity to prove themselves, says Director Sandro Nardelli.
“It’s the testing period during which riders have to prove themselves,” he says. “To come to a small mountain and do 200-kph (120mph) and get to the front and win would then be a bigger achievement.”
Pazmilera also pulls out as a lot of the hosts, from whom she takes plenty of inspiration, fail to cope with the extreme conditions.