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Team will use Kickbikes and ride the course a day ahead of the pros

A team of Czechs, a Finn and a Dutchman are to ride the entire 2,200 mile Tour de France on footbikes ahead of the pro peloton.

The bikes, which are particularly popular in Scandinavia, feature a normal bike wheel at the front, with a scooter-style foot platform and a smaller back wheel.

Here's a video to explain the challenge:

According to the team's leader, actor Vaclav Liska, says that because footbiking is slower than cycling, the team will ride for around 10 - 18 hours a day, in contrast to the five or six taken by pro cyclists.

He says the main concerns are a lack of sleep and a lack of time to recover.

The team will take on exactly the same mountain passes as the pros, all the way from Corsica, Porto Vecchio, to the Champs Elysees.

The team is made up of the following:

    ALPO KUUSISTO, Finnish, Multiple Footbike World Champion
    VACLAV LISKA, Czech, actor, avid footbiker
    JAN VLASEK, Czech, lawyer, Footbike World Champion
    JAROMIR ODVARKA, Czech, youth trainer, multiple World Championship medal winner
    MICHAL KULKA, Czech, running coach, avid footbiker
    RENE KOENING, Dutch, sailor, avid footbiker

Speaking to Supersport, Jan Vlasek said: "We are not afraid of any stage, but there are definitely some that command more respect."

But if it goes well, there might just be a repeat performance.

"It would be interesting also to cover the routes of the other two great cycling races when they turn 100," he said.

"The 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia will take place in 2017, but we can see a slight problem with the Vuelta which has had 67 editions to date. We will be in our sixties when the moment comes."

It's not the first left-field idea to come out of the Tour de France - this year a number of heavily guarded Corsican prisoners will be riding a stage, three weeks ahead of the peloton. They will replicate the hilly Bastia-Ajaccio stage, and have already been riding on roads and in the gym to prepare.

In 2009, we reported another prisoner outing for the Tour - in which the French Prison Service released almost 200 criminals to cycle around the country on various stages of what is officially called the Penitentiary Tour de France 2009. For the full story, and the thinking behind it, here's a link to a longer feature in The Times (£).

 

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

9 comments

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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MENTAL....But there things are bad ass, especially the one's with Zipp Disc's back and front, then you tuck in going down hill. You can get some speed on them

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BenMWilliamson [27 posts] 3 years ago
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Bonkers.

Definitely ANOTHER thing I could be spending my money on...

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karlowen [65 posts] 3 years ago
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But why? Even a unicycle seems a more valid form of transport.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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karlowen wrote:

But why? Even a unicycle seems a more valid form of transport.

Why?? Because they can....

How do you work out that any certain transport is more valid than another?  39

What's more valid to travel to Australia, Plane, Boat, Car, Van, Bus.....I can't work out what you mean by VALID??

Also, have you ever had a shot of one of these? Its VERY hard to get any sort of speed and stay in control. Its not just like riding a kids scooter. It takes BIG leg actions and uses more energy than riding a bike

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wheelsucker [58 posts] 3 years ago
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"released almost 200 criminals to cycle around the country"

Trying to think up something witty...

Failed  20

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Not KOM [79 posts] 3 years ago
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Lunatics. Glorious, wonderful lunatics. I really hope they make it, and I also hope that they get some TV time on the TdF coverage.

The kind of madness needs to be shared, so more people will be inspired to follow their pushbike dreams  1

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Coleman [335 posts] 3 years ago
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wheelsucker wrote:

"released almost 200 criminals to cycle around the country"

Trying to think up something witty...

Failed  20

Let's hope they don't get caught in a cycle of re-offending. I'll get me cape.

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karlowen [65 posts] 3 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:
karlowen wrote:

But why? Even a unicycle seems a more valid form of transport.

Why?? Because they can....

How do you work out that any certain transport is more valid than another?  39

What's more valid to travel to Australia, Plane, Boat, Car, Van, Bus.....I can't work out what you mean by VALID??

Also, have you ever had a shot of one of these? Its VERY hard to get any sort of speed and stay in control. Its not just like riding a kids scooter. It takes BIG leg actions and uses more energy than riding a bike

I guess my opinion on validity was more a comment on their popularity rather than this insane challenge. I just don't see the benefit of owning one of these over a bike?

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RuthF28 [100 posts] 3 years ago
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Mad, bonkers, amazing. As if going uphill (up-mountain) wouldn't be bad enough, I don't think I would fancy being on one of those coming down the other side. Respect.