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Fact file

Location:
Lands End, UK
Start Date:
Saturday, August 1, 2020 8:00 AM
Length:
2000km
Riders:
16
Terrain:
Off-Road

Key moments

    Breaking News

    Unconfirmed reports are coming in from our roving reporter, Lachlan Morton, suggesting Svein may have scratched due to sickness. We were speculating earlier on why the Canadian's tracker appears to have been stopped for so long. Stay tuned for more details as they emerge.

    Screenshot 2020-08-04 at 09.29.27

    We're also hearing that Sharon is struggling with illness, saying:

    "It’s walk or scratch here 😬 can’t keep food in so not eaten for about 15 hours, running on empty. Walking just to keep moving forward. 😕 "

    Let's hope both riders can rally and make swift recoveries to keep their races on track.

    Meet the Riders (Part 3)

    Welcome to the final instalment of our deep-dive into the background, tactics and equipment of our riders. Today we join the groupetto...

    Anisa Aubin

    anisa aubin

    Anisa rides GBDuro this year on the back of a hectic last 48 months of ultra-cycling event entering. In 2018 she rode North-cape Tarifa and the Transcontinental Race back to back, amassing over 11,000 km in the process, and last year she was the second placed female finisher in the Transatlantic Way.

    Anisa

    We are fans of the metallic gold paint job, integrated carbon seatpost and tan rear tyre combo of her custom Issen, which just manages to shine out from under the cacophony of frame bags and panniers.

    Anisa may have saved some weight through deciding not to take a stove - we are not sure if her pre-race prep includes lighting a fire using foraged wood or whether she is going for cold re-hydrated food for the entire journey. If so, she may have a secret tactic to liven them up - we have seen evidence of her research into the edible berries and fruits of rural England, Wales and Scotland (particularly those found near single-track).

    Check out Anisa’s Facebook.

    Miles ‘and Miles’ Resso

    The evil genius behind the whole concept has ramped up the difficulty for everyone exponentially this year, we suspect he’s even more excited now that the race is virtually impossible to complete. Another thing that's ramped up exponentially is Miles' beard, which he may be using as a rudimentary bivi pillow to save space in his panniers.

    Miles

    Miles is on his trusty Mason Bokeh, adapted to the popular Tailfin rear pannier system with extra seatpack to accomodate all that extra food. 650B wheels, aero bars and a liberal dose of hi-vis yellow completes the package.

    Sharon Calton & Chris Bower

    caltonbower

    Sharon and Chris, a couple both on and off the bike, have the privilege of being the only pairs team entrants - so finish and they come first (and last).

    The team achieved a finish in TCR07 last year and managed to raise some charity monies in the process. We are intrigued to know how their self- (well pairs-) sufficiency has been organised? Separate stoves? Is one of the pair carrying breakfasts and one dinners? Who carries any empties? Who carries the toilet roll?

    Sharon&Chris1

    Sharon&Chris Both

    They are on matching 2019 Specialized Diverges with 650b mtb hoops and dyno hubs built by their mate Malc at TheCycleclinic with 47mm tubeless tyres and Pepi's noodles for extra protection, after Sharon wrecked her front wheel in a Bulgarian pothole on TCR last year.

    To charge all their electronics, the pair have gone for Igaro inverters connected to the dynamos, and a folding CIGS solar panel. They are running Tailfin rear panniers, necessitating the all-important ‘will the bike fit through a gate’ test. They have chosen my personal favourite tent - the Nordisk Telemark 2 (which will be very cozy for two, from personal experience) - which, along with cooking equipment, will be carried by Chris, of course.

    Colin Addison

    Colin has been prepping for GBDuro20 by subjecting himself to several other #theracingcollective events, including Transengland, Transwales and Transscotland. He also competed in last year’s Italian Two Volcano Sprint.

    Aside from this impressive recent palmeres, we know little about his pre-race prep and tactics - It may be that he researched all the potential fresh water sources (springs, outside taps, wells….) on route whilst racing across three of the nations last year.

    Colin2

    Colin’s ‘mongrel’ bike is a really intriguing creation, assembled almost entirely from second hand parts: Orro Terra frame (ebay), 700c Hunt (nearly new wheels) with Vittoria Terrano Mix tyres and 105 groupset (taken off a damaged carbon frame on ebay). Colin has had to dig his old panniers out from the shed to house the sheer volume of food required, something he describes as ‘an albatross around his neck’. He’s relying on solar power to charge all his electronics, so a lack of British sunshine is his biggest current fear.

    Paul Addy

    Paul Addy

    We know that Paul is one for the mountains, ordinarily residing and cycling in Switzerland. His instagram profile describes him being a husband and a father of two. We are not sure if he has been carrying one child in each of his panniers to replicate the weight of his final race-ready rig.

    Paul

    He describes his Mason Bokeh as his trusty steed and states that he has loaded it up with at least 18kg of food, meaning space for anything else is limited, so water is in a Camelbak connected to an MSR Pocket water filter. Paul’s solution for charging his gear is a SON dynamo, laced to Hunt 700cc wheels and 45mm Riddler tyres with a nifty K-Lite switch to alternate dynamo power between the light and power bank to minimize the faffing.

    Check out Paul's Instagram

    Adam Colvin

    Adam Colvin Hoax 3

    Adam’s preparation for GBDUO20 has involved racing in the Armed Forces e-racing Zwift Championship, and in April he rode an indoor 24 hours for the NHS. Outside - he has been practicing for the race by lifting his heavy rig over a variety of different gates. He has also been through the British military’s elite selfie-shooting bootcamp - a secretive program run by the SAS to ensure the UK is at the forefront of social media warfare.

    Adam

    Adam enters GBDuro astride his hi-vis Boardman CXR, set up in ‘dangle-mug’ configuration with 650B wheels and layers of frame packs squeezed into every corner.

    Check out Adam's Instagram here.

    James Illman

    James Illman 2

    James recreated an average GBDuro day of climbing by completing an Everesting attempt earlier in the year (and in fact pushed on to 10000m). He describes himself as a Formula 1 aerodynamicist – we wonder if he will reveal a custom rig made out of a metal we haven’t heard of yet?

    He entered TCRNo6 and No7 and was an Atlas Mountain Race 2020 finisher. He has been busy posting photos of his race so far on Twitter.

    James Illman 2

    James is riding what looks to be a Specialized Diverge with Hunt wheels, Brooks Cambium saddle and Ortleib front and rear panniers (which convert into an adventure table). His electrical solution is solar and his neat and sleek setup is completed with a shock of neon yellow details for added visibility.

    Day 3

    Day 3 saw the race take its first casualties with Molly Weaver and Ross Holland forced to scratch.

    The remainder of the pack continues to ride, push, carry and haul their bikes across the landscape. They aren’t immune to problems of their own however, with punctures continuing to wreak havoc amongst the peloton.

    2020-07-31-GBduro-3

    gbduro-sat01-07569

    gbduro-sat01-07437

    Sharon & Chris seem to be constantly pumping (insert sexy joke here) and true to form Angus is racking up the punctures, this time managing to seal his tyre with 3 tubeless plugs, rather than the manic inner tube patching frenzy witnessed last year. He’s approaching Manchester now, having completed Wales with days of 289km, 296km and 233km.

    f352fcb9-1f87-4084-9cdb-92e651eae244

    Angus' puncture fixes

    Angus is managing to keep Josh at arm’s length, a 3hr sleep with Josh taking an extra hour in his bivi, extending the gap between the two to 85km. Jason is 75km further back and we guess Svein is around there too, although he’s gone of radar for the past 16 hours in what could be a tactical move.

    Screenshot 2020-08-04 at 08.08.32

    The puncture plague is even affecting this year's film crew, as Angus Morton reports:

    Rise and shine!! We got our own taste of the GB duro yesterday, flatted our mountain bike on a trail in mid wales and had to walk it the 15km through to the car. 😂😂. My respect for you only increases.

    Meanwhile, in the groupetto...

    7a151903-2db2-4f30-bc14-445c3799df19

    James has been forced to carry his bike up some stairs...

    “Steps + 40kg bike: quite difficult 😂. Carried my bags up separately, just couldn't lift it. Why did I fill up with water at the bottom?! 🤦‍♂️”

    He also found someones’ trowel - gross.

    ...at least he has a restful end to a long and traumatic day:

    James Moon

    "Moon over Beacons. My view as I fall asleep. Slow day. Lots of pushing. My left foot is pretty mangled after an early slip which makes that difficult. Held off dessert tonight in case I need to stretch food another day. Amazing riding the gap, never thought I'd do that!"

    Screenshot 2020-08-04 at 07.14.29

    Shout-out to all the fans who have been up all night on Zoom 'Miles Resso Watch Parties' eagerly awaiting the big moment when he enters Wales. Caffeine supplies must getting dangerously low for the fans, but don't worry guys, he'll be across the bridge within an hour and you can all go to bed!

    Finally, we’ve received another textbook selfie from Adam - I can’t tell if he’s in on the joke or not!

    Adam Colvin Hoax 3

    2 Scratches

    Molly

    Ross

    News just in: Ross and Molly have scratched.

    As we saw earlier, Ross was struggling with punctures and early reports suggest he had to divert to Brecon to get his tyres patched up in a bike shop. As we all know, this is an illegal move and as soon as he stepped inside the building the automatic scratch alarm system was triggered here at GBDURO HQ and Ross was immediately eliminated. Not killed, just disqualified.

    We believe Molly has also scratched, although details are thin on the ground at this stage and we don't know whether or not it was indeed cheese-related.

    All our riders have devoted months of time, energy, effort and money into getting to the start line, so it's never a nice sight to see peoples' races coming to an end. Commiserations to these two, who both lit the race up in the first two days battling it out in exemplary fashion. We hope they'll come back and give it another crack next year.

    48 Hours In

    88e01de3-ff54-4685-ae47-56c37755b2c9

    Our riders have been out there for over 2 whole days now, and the stresses and strains of the race are beginning to tell. We saw Gail's rig struggle to maintain structural integrity under an assault of the most brutal gravel the south west has to offer, and it looks like the south west's finest racing team is suffering similar punishment, with Ross struggling to keep the air inside his tyres.

    Screenshot 2020-08-02 at 17.14.28

    Molly seems to be MIA, her tracker showing that she's been stopped just off route on the outskirts of Cheddar. Either her tracker has gone down, or she's investing some time cultivating cheese from raw natural ingredients to see her through the next section of the race. Let's hope it's the former and she'll pop up like a ninja to continue her enthralling battle with Gail.

    MG 5977

    Breaking News: Angus has slept! After 42 hours and a staggering 650km, Angus finally treated himself to a 2hr 45min nap, then presumably smashed a battenburg and cracked on. Josh, who has now opened up an almost 40km gap to Jason, enjoyed a luxurious 4 hours sleep. The two obviously set their alarm clocks for the same time, meaning when their wheels hit the trail Angus did so 60km further down the road.

    Screenshot 2020-08-03 at 09.35.28

    Jason and Svein have wisely waited until morning to traverse the Llyn Brianne Dam & Reservoir, a stunning landmark on the route that looks like a Bond villain's secret lair, and would be a shame to miss out on.

    Consistency is key

    As any endurance veteran will tell you, consistency is key, and Adam seems to be taking this advice to the extreme - look at the consistency of progress update selfies...military precision indeed!

    Adam Colvin Hoax 1

    They are so consistent in fact that the GBDURO Fraudulent Activity Bureau has been called in to investigate...could 'Adam' actually be constructing an elaborate hoax by staging his backgrounds to give the illusion of progress? We'll let you decide.

    Adam Colvin Hoax 2

    Grupetto Update

    08b7f02c-5425-4b94-b9ea-dc658fddb447

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CDa_jQUpqM0/

    The carnage continues further down the field, with members of the grupetto also succumbing to mechanicals and other perils. Sharon - the better half of our only pairs team - reports a leaky valve, requiring frequent pumping to keep pressure in the tyre. It's not clear whether it's her tyre and she's enrolled her team member to do the hard work while she posed atop Dunkery Beacon (Nice weather for it though).

    Colin Addison, who is now steaming deep into Wales reminds us that wildlife can be a threat once the race goes 'abroad'. Colin sustained the race's first wasp sting, serving as a grave warning to all other riders. When advised "You need to pee on it", Colin replied "I would have done, but it flew away".

    Roving reporter Emily Chappell has been hunting down more racers, this time intercepting Anisa on the Clifton suspension bridge...

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CDa6g_BFb_v/

    Another of our dotwatchers / spies, Tim Poole (https://www.instagram.com/tim.poole.6971/) has been out papping the whole field, here we see 'team neon' in action: Miles 'and miles' Resso, and James Illman here on the same sartorial wavelength.

    Team Neon

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