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.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.