On The Road – Sverigetempot: Riding the Length of Sweden
The Cycling Podcast presents Life in the Peloton
2115,2km, 7 days and the length of Sweden.
Back in July I had the opportunity to head up to Sweden to ride an event that only comes around every four years: Sverigetempot – a self-supported, endurance road ride that covers the length of Sweden from top to bottom over 7 days (or quicker if you so choose!).
Based in Sweden, our team helmet and glasses sponsor Poc were keen to get some EF Education-Nippo riders up to do their home event as part of their alternative racing calendar.
Damian Phillips and Magnus Gustavssen from Poc had spoken about riding the event together for some time and finally the year came around where the stars aligned.
Being in my final year as Pro, and wanting to explore as much of Europe as possible, I jumped at the opportunity.
After countless Zoom calls planning the route, stops and equipment, off I went to Sweden to meet Damian and Magnus, my riding partners for the next week.
The 17 hour train ride up to the starting town of Riksgränsen really put into perspective just how long the country was. But before we knew it it was race day and we were staring down the barrel of 2115,2km.
We chose to keep it cushy and take our time, splitting up the ride over 7 days, lodging at hotels and fueling up on local pastries, service station hot dogs and pizza (big in Sweden!). Double dinners became a ritual as we rode into the late hours of the day by the midnight sun.
We met so many great people along the way; some riding solo, some riding in teams, some going for speed, some just there to explore and meet people, or like Damian and Magnus, to have a reason to spend all day on the bike (who doesn’t want that).
We reached the Smygehuk lighthouse at 10pm on the final day and it wasn’t long before we had an ice cold beer in our hands.
It was an incredible trip and I hope you enjoy the journey along with us.
A big thanks to Poc for their home town support, Restrap for our perfectly fitted bike packing bags and Rapha for making it all possible.
And to the people we met along the way who made it all so memorable. Cheers!
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The theme music for Life in the Peloton was composed by Pete Shelley, who was lead singer of the punk band Buzzcocks. It was commissioned by the production company behind Channel 4’s coverage of the Tour de France in the 1980s and was used as the theme music for the nightly highlights show. Pete died in December 2018. We were given permission by Pete’s widow and his manager to continue using the music for the theme tune to Life in the Peloton. To hear more about the music, listen to the Andre Greipel episode of Life in the Peloton.