On the 24th September, a group of over 20 women from 7 different countries will set off from Turin to tackle a 700km bikepacking challenge on the famous Torino Nice Rally cycling route. This is the first bikepacking challenge exclusively for women in Europe and may well be the first time ever that a female collective has been formed to undertake a cycling adventure of this magnitude.
The event is brought to you by komoot, and is the brainchild of world-renowned endurance cyclist, Lael Wilcox who will lead out the group.
The event is self-supported and each participant can create her own adventure - whether that’s to ride solo or with others, and to sleep and eat where preferred. The absence of racing pressure ensures that each woman can go at her own pace and can form friendships with those around her. According to komoot ambassador Lael Wilcox “I’ve been told that it’s impossible for women to ride long distances, to climb mountains, to ride through the remote countryside. Yet I’ve done all of these things and so have many women that are joining on this week-long adventure. I’m very motivated to show that women are extremely capable in the world of ultra-distance cycling and this event is a way for us to connect with each other and to share our stories and our passion for adventure cycling”.
The Torino-Nice rally route was designed by James Olsen in 2016. Since then, it has attracted a cult-like following, with riders undertaking the challenge annually in September. Parts of the route had been gravely affected in 2020 by storm Alex and Olsen painstakingly plotted a re-route which was then recced by komoot and published as this Collection on komoot. The result is a finely-tuned route that winds through the Queyras and Mercantour national parks and the Ligurian, Cottian and Maritime Alps. This route will be followed by riders taking part in the Women’s Torino-Nice Rally.
Adventure cycling is enjoying growing popularity across Europe, as people look to alternatives to explore by bike that don’t involve mixing with road traffic. Komoot has also noted a remarkable increase in tracked tours among its community of users - many of these, from female cyclists. According to Gaby Thompson, Global Community Manager komoot “We want adventure cycling to be accessible to everyone, to transcend genders and nationalities. The experience of riding the TNR in a group of women will be history in the making that in and of itself! We’re super excited to be able to support Lael in bringing this to the international bikepacking community this year.”
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