Norwegian beats off competition from around world to scoop top prize

You might remember the Rapha Festive 500, announced in mid-December, which challenged cyclists to get out on their bike over the festive season and put 500 kilometres in.

Well, if you thought the blanket of white stuff that covered the Britain shortly before Christmas was a decent excuse to opt out, think again – the winner, Bjarte Bjørgen Olsen, comes from Norway, where they know what a proper winter is. Mind you, the country’s also less likely to come to a standstill is the case here.

To win the first prize of a £350 Deep Winter Training Jersey, it wasn’t just a case of getting the distance in, Rapha was looking for documentary evidence – words, photos or film – to be sent in via its Twitter or Facebook accounts.

Shot in moody black and white – Bjarte presumably is a keen student of the Rapha website – the film, described by the company as “rather tidy” certainly does a good job of conveying the feeling of grinding out those kilometres, all against the backdrop of a low winter sun that casts long shadows over the snow.

Other prize winners were Daniel Carruthers, who claimed second place after racking up 726km in China, winning a Hope light Emily Broock from the US, who gets her mitts on a pair of winter gloves (sorry).

There was a special fourth prize, too – a Rouleur annual for 12-year-old Rupert Cox from California, who did what “many grown men failed to” and finished his 500km.

A number of other riders also completed the challenge and will receive a limited edition patch based on the design shown in the main picture, and a full list can be found on the Rapha website.



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.