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