As Britain braces for another sprinkling of snow, US riders take on the real deal

While cyclists in Britain have been coming to terms with wintry conditions in recent weeks, spare a thought for some intrepid riders in Alaska who took part in a 150-mile race that proved so tough that only two of the 12 entrants managed to complete it.

A further six cyclists completed a shorter, 100-mile course in the race, which took place in the stunning mountain scenery around the Sheep Mountain Lodge in the state’s Glennallen area, where the temperature at this time of year can hit minus 50 degree Centigrade and never climbs above zero.

Officially known as the Sheep Mountain 150 Winter Bike race, the 150-mile event was won in 33 hours, 7 minutes by Jeff Oatle from Fairbanks, with Bill Fleming of Anchorage coming home in 34 hours, 14 minutes.

Six others completed the 100-mile course, with that race won by Frank McGuire, also of Anchorage, in 32 hours, 28 minutes.

The riders undertook the race on fat bikes, similar to mountain bikes but with much wider tyre clearance of up to four inches, allowing them to be used on surfaces such as sand, gravel and, of course, snow.

More information on the event can be found on its 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.