2017 - Life In The Saddle - Year in Review

2017 has been a year of so many challenges, smiles, and adventures. It is hard to condense them all into one blog post.

This is my attempt to summarise an incredibly memorable year...

Early Beginnings

TorTour Cyclocross Switzerland (February 2017) - The season began early, with the TorTour Cyclocross Stage Race in Switzerland. Mud, snow, sweat, and sub-zero temperatures.

An awesome event, which was both impeccably organised and super challenging, as well as being great fun. 4th place, in an international field containing professional riders and national champions.

Read the TorTour Cyclocross Ride Report here

Tuscany Torrents

Strade Bianche Grand Fondo (March 2017) - The next event on the calendar was the Strade Bianche Grand Fondo, on the white roads of Tuscany.

The weather was not kind for this early season Spring Classic; rain turned the white Tuscan roads to sludge. Narrow tyres squirmed and skidded on the rutted roads. My Sportful Fiandre kit showed its true virtue.

Read the Strade Bianche Grand Fondo Ride Report here

Gravel Racing

The Dirty Reiver (April 2017) - In reality, both the TorTour Cyclocross and the Sportful Strade Bianche Grand Fondo could also claim to be 'gravel events'. Yet, it was The Dirty Reiver that really took gravel 'grinding' to the next level.

On the borders of Scotland, over 200 riders raced the historic routes of the border Reivers. I came away with another 4th place finish, and enjoyed a fantastic day on the bike.

Read the Dirty Reiver Ride Report here

Yorkshire Loves Cycling

The Maserati Tour de Yorkshire Ride (May 2017) - A week in Yorkshire following the Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling Team was followed by a great weekend with Maserati. A Friday night dinner sat next to David Millar, was followed by a 4:30am start for the Maserati Sportive...

I rode to the start and then completed the route in the fine company of a good friend. After refuelling in the Maserati hospitality area, I headed back out into the Yorkshire Dales to round my ride totals up to 211 kilometres, with 4100 metres of climbing. A grand day out.

Read the Maserati Tour de Yorkshire Ride Report here

Alpine Adventures

Recon of the 2017 Etapé du Tour (May 2017) - On the day that the Col d'Izoard opened, I rode the route of the Etapé du Tour with Wiggle High5's Emma Johansson.

The sun was setting as we crested the final climb. We rode between banks of freshly drifted snow, and pulled on winter jackets and gloves for the descent. The Alps in springtime are a beautiful place to ride.

See more photos from the day here

Climbing Everest

The St. Boniface Down Everesting (June 2017) - Mount Everest stands at 8848 metres above sea level; to complete an 'Everesting' you need to achieve the height of Everest in elevation gain in one ride, on one climb.

I completed the mammoth hill repeat challenge to raise awareness and funds for the Ellen MacArthur Children's Cancer Trust - a local cause, which I am always keen to support. Despite challenging riding conditions, this was a very memorable day in the saddle.

Read the St. Boniface Down Everesting Ride Report here 

Dolomites Exploration

The #5MaratonasChallenge (July 2017) - Since its inaugural edition in 1988 the Maratona dles Dolomites has taken five challenging routes through the Dolomite passes. Over the course of five consecutive days in July, I rode each historic route.

The week of riding totalled over 55 hours riding time, 1073 kilometres, and 36,500 metres of vertical elevation gain. It was an incredible adventure from my base at the Ustaria Posta hotel.

Read the #5MaratonasChallenge blog series here

Ice Cream and Gravel in Denmark

The Hansen's Cykelløb Gravel Race (August 2017) - Denmark has fast become one of my favourite countries in Europe; in part because of the great riding I have experienced there, but mainly due to the great company I receive from the team at GripGrab.

The Hansen's Cykellob race is a fun race, sponsored by the local ice cream parlour. The feed stations are stocked with fresh (giant!) ice creams, and fresh coffee and sandwiches. The finish is all about the BBQ and catching up with friends. I loved all aspects of this special event.

Read the Hansen's Cykellob Ride Report here

Trans-Continental Exploration

The #7Countries7Passes Tour (September 2017) - Exploring seven European countries, and the three high mountain regions of the Alps, Dolomites and Pyrenees, all in one 3000 kilometre self-supported tour.

The 7Countries 7Passes was a mammoth and spectacular adventure. You see so much from the saddle of a touring bike; I visited many beautiful places, as I linked up with friends and family across Europe. A fantastic way to end the 2017 season.

Read the blog series from the #7Countries7Passes tour here

2017 Statistics

I will let the numbers do the talking...

Ride Totals of 2017

  • Total Distance -- 25,372 kilometres (15,765 miles)
  • Total Ride Time -- 1056 hours
  • Total Elevation -- 347,459 metres

Bikes of 2017

A year of exploration, adventure, new challenges, and great friends.

2018 is set to be another highly diverse, and very different 12 months. I look forward to telling you more over the coming weeks...

The next adventure awaits...


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