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45-minute film follows 6 months of preparation & 10 days of riding across the ice cap as Welsh woman sets a first

A documentary following Maria Leijerstam, the Welsh woman who last month became the first cyclist to ride to the South Pole, is now available to watch on the ITV website. The 45-minute programme was broadcast on Tuesday evening as a Wales This Week Special.

Cameras followed the 35-year-old, who has a background as an ultramarathon runner in places as diverse as the Sahara Desert and Siberia, for six months during her preparations for her record-breaking journey.

It covers issues such as the tricycle she used for the ride, supplied by sponsor ICE Trikes, her training regime, the team of people who supported her, and the logistical challenges she faced – including a baggage weight-induced panic at the airport.

The main focus of course is the ten-day ride across the ice cap, ending in Maria’s emotional – and record-breaking – arrival at the South Pole.

You’ll find the documentary here – it’s well worth watching.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

6 comments

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Gkam84 [9088 posts] 2 years ago
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I will finish watching it, but I have thrice fallen asleep with it on screen  102

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monty dog [459 posts] 2 years ago
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Been following this for the last few months - FWIW the third rider, Daniel Burton only arrived at the South Pole earlier this week. It appears a few folks are getting a bit sniffy about whether supported rides should qualify as it devalues the concept of adventure. Regardless, she was the first to cycle all the way to the pole and expect fat-trikes to be a new mode of adventure travel.

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BarefootBrian [20 posts] 2 years ago
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I would love to watch it, but unfortunately, for some as yet unexplained reason, I am unable to watch anything on Vimeo - it skips straight to the end whenever I attempt to play. Is there any chance it might appear on another platform?

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ped [229 posts] 2 years ago
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I'd lined up this and bunch of other Vimeo cycling movies for a 'when-the-wife's-away' cycling film festival tonight. Being able to sync a watch later list with your TV is brilliant!

… oh, and The White Ice Cycle was a great watch too. The moments with just Maria speaking to the camera when she's struggling are really quite emotional. Or perhaps I'm just growing soft[er] in my old age.

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Gkam84 [9088 posts] 2 years ago
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monty dog wrote:

Been following this for the last few months - FWIW the third rider, Daniel Burton only arrived at the South Pole earlier this week. It appears a few folks are getting a bit sniffy about whether supported rides should qualify as it devalues the concept of adventure. Regardless, she was the first to cycle all the way to the pole and expect fat-trikes to be a new mode of adventure travel.

I wouldn't bet on fat trikes, it cost over £10k for that one.

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Charlie The Bik... [15 posts] 2 years ago
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Woohoo. I was the t-shirt and inner tube sponsor.

Why only welsh tv.