Life in the Peloton is proudly brought to you by Rapha
I lined up with my friend and fellow podcast host Ian Boswell, and we were really in it together, sharing the camper life, and all the ups and downs. Going in, we expected this to be like a stage race. Bos was looking forward to getting into the groove, with visions of hanging by the camp village and trading war stories.
Before the start, there was an electricity in the air that is hard to describe, and within hours of touching down in South Africa, I had bumped into a whole heap of people I know from different corners of the cycling world, all coming together in this far-flung destination to put ourselves to the ultimate test.
There were riders who had done this event before – my friends Al Iacuone and Wade Wallace were here trying to finish this race for the first time – on their third and final attempt. I caught up with last year’s winners Georg Egger and Lukas Baum for some insider tips, and we camped alongside Dave and Fran Millar, undertaking this event for the first time as a mixed team.
It was a war of attrition from the early planning stages right through until the finish line. By the end, we were in pieces, and my fatigue level was hovering down around the level that it would normally be at the end of a Grand Tour, to put things into perspective. Put simply, this was a lot harder than expected. But the sense of accomplishment is also massive and difficult to put into words, and one beer in after the finish, we were already talking about coming back next year. It was an incredible journey, and something we might only fully appreciate in hindsight.
I hope this properly conveys the brutality of this week – it might give you pause if you have considered doing this event yourself, or maybe it has made you even more determined to cross it off your bucket list, either way, enjoy the listen!
This episode is brought to you by Rapha, makers of the world’s finest cycling clothing & accessories and the world’s largest cycling club, RCC. Find out more about Rapha: their kit, their club, their events, and awesome clubhouses at rapha.cc.
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.