Lotto-Soudal pros to take the scenic route home after final race of the season

Lotto-Soudal riders Thomas De Gendt and Tim Wellens will be finishing their season a week on Sunday at Il Lombardia, but they’ll still have a bit of riding left to do – the pair have decided to bikepack their way back to Belgium from Italy.

The itinerary of their 1,000-kilometre trip, which is due to last six days, was shared by De Gendt on Twitter.

The Belgian, who last month won the mountains jersey at the Vuelta, also tweeted pictures of his Ridley bike complete with Apidura bags.

Speaking last night at the town hall in Gezere at a reception to celebrate his Vuelta success – he gave the mayor a signed polka-dot jersey and got a crate of local beer in return – De Gendt said: "We’re chucking all the luggage on the bike in Italy and then we’ll ride from hotel to hotel at ease, without too much of a rush.”

Laughing, he added: “Yes, there are elections on October 14 but I’ve already arranged a proxy vote.”

De Gendt and Wellens aren’t the only pros to have been bitten by the bikepacking bug.

Last month, Connor Dunne and Larry Warbasse went on a trip in the Alps that they dubbed the No Go Tour after their Aqua Blue Sports team folded on the eve of the Ovo Energy Tour of Britain.

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.