The Torino-Nice Rally: a Test for Man and Machine

The last few years have seen increasing popularity of unsupported ultra cycling or bikepacking races like the Transcontinental or Japanese Odyssey. The concept is that competitors can choose their own route as long as they hit certain checkpoints. The Transcontinental has grown from a small event with only 30 competitors, to 350 riders taking part this year, racing 4,000km across Europe in just seven to ten days.

If the idea appeals to you but you’re a bit nervous of tackling several thousand kilometres in a limited timeframe, not to mention competing against some of the best ultra cycling stars around, like Emily Chappell, there is another option.

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Emily Chappell's Adventure Syndicate at Rapha

Emily Chappell, the former cycling courier, started making a name for herself last year when she published her first book, What Goes Around. Not content with cycling round the world and crossing Alaska on a fat bike (in winter), she then entered and was the first woman finisher of the Transcontinental bike race this summer. 

Now she’s out and about promoting ultra endurance cycling events to women with snappily named The Adventure Syndicate. It’s an organisation she founded which aims to challenge perceptions of what women are capable of and to promote inclusive role models for them. She was a big draw at Velo Vixen’s Hub at this year’s Cycle Show at the NEC. And last week she could be seen hosting an event at Rapha’s central London store in Brewer Street where she invited five women to talk about their achievements on the bike.

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