🏎 Stage 28: Formula 1 meets Gravel

and Golden Bicycle galore

Hey there!

I’m back at you again with another weekly newsletter. I had a pretty crazy weekend. On Saturday morning, myself and my teammates flew from Girona to Brussels as we were racing the GP Leuven on Sunday. After a quick activation ride around some Belgian canals, we were tucked up in bed early to get ready for the race.

GP Leuven is a big race in Belgium and it’s crazy: 190 km long, 13 laps of a 15 km circuit. Each lap has over thirty corners. And each lap was mental. It was my first race back for 3 months, so I used every crafty trick in the book to survive as long as possible. But eventually, with just over one lap to go as the front selection happened, my legs gave up. I completed the race just behind the second group on the road.

It’s not a result to write home about, but it reminded me why I love bike racing. Fighting for each corner, and the contrast of both loving and hating every second. And Belgium, what an amazing country for cycling, with the best fans. We flew back to Barcelona the same night, arriving at the airport just over an hour after finishing the race. It’s safe to say we were all pretty tired this morning, and it took more than one shot of coffee to get us started before our reco-ride.

Have a good week pedalling,

Joe


📖 Read

#Vuelta #Racing

The Vuelta a España started in the Basque Country this past weekend. The three-week Spanish Grand Tour is the final big stage race of the season. The Vuelta always throws up crazy racing and mind-bogglingly epic Spanish roads. It’s a race that even non-roadies will enjoy, and it’ll get you researching cycling trips to Spain. We may be biased though, as a lot of the N+1 team are based here…

9-minute read


#tech #bling

With the men’s World Tour peloton back to racing after the Olympics, we got to see some Golden-Goodies in the bunch. The Vuelta a España started this weekend, the season’s third and final Grand Tour. Both Richard Carapaz and Primoz Roglic, the Olympic Road Race, and TT Champions respectively, were on the start line. Carapaz’s new Pinarello is very bling, whereas Roglic’s TT bike is a little more understated. What are your thoughts?

3-minute read


#Olympics #MentalHealth

The Olympics bring the highest of highs. For three weeks, the whole world is watching, the whole world is supporting. But, what happens next? What do you do with post-Olympic blues? Athletes are only human, and the other side of the Olympics, returning to ordinary, daily life, isn’t spoken about. Australian Gracie Elvin wrote about her experience, and how there are two sides to every coin.

5-minute read


#Everesting

Everesting was all the trend in 2020, and it’s fair to say that it hasn’t been in the public eye as much this year. Well, that just changed as University of Cardiff student Illi Gardner has smashed the women's Everesting record by almost 20 minutes. Gardner's Strava shows she averaged 209 w for 8 hours, 32 minutes, and 38 seconds and racked up 8,919 m of elevation at an average speed of 12.6 km/h. Not bad at all.

4-minute read


#weeklygravel

SBT GRVL, one of the biggest Gravel events in the States, took place this past weekend. There were some unexpected riders on the start line, including Mercedes Formula 1 driver, Valtteri Bottas. In the men’s race, it was World-Tour pro, Alex Howes who took the win. Lauren De Crescenzo continued her roll to take the women’s title. SBT GRVL is now on my personal bucket list too…

4-minute and 5-minute read


📱Tweet of the week

Even if you win the Tour de France 4 times, French News will still refer to you as a ‘bicycle hiker’. We feel you Chris Froome, we really do.


🎧 Listen

Tom Ritchey is ‘The Godfather of Gravel’. This two-part podcast (part one and part two) bathes in his many anecdotes about the early days of off-road riding around California with iconic American engineer Jobst Brandt and pioneering the first off-road bikes.

90-minute listen (two parts)


👀 Watch

Bike-packing X Gravel Riding. It sounds like bloody good fun, BUT not always easy. Especially when you consider that ex-pro Conor Dunne rode in ‘classic’ British weather. Connor is no stranger to epic cycling tours and took on his self-dubbed ‘No-Go’ Tour back in 2018. This tour was a little different, and involved camping…

21-minute watch, endless daydreaming of bike packing.