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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Poole

George's Cycling Ambitions for 2021

Updated: Jan 29, 2021

In Bedoin, at the foot of Mont Ventoux following a double-ascent day.

COVID-dependent, the main goal of this year is to go on a foreign cycling trip with my Dad. Last summer we went to the Alps and climbed Alpe d’Huez, Col du Galibier, Col d’Izoard and Mont Ventoux, amongst others. Ventoux in particular was absolutely incredible; as someone who lives not far from where Tom Simpson was brought up, to go and cycle past his memorial on the white scree slopes, and to make it to the top, was truly breath-taking. Now that we've done a few of France’s famous climbs, the next dream is to travel to Italy to tick off some more. I am picturing the Gavia, the Mortirolo, the Zoncolan… but most of all I am picturing the Stelvio.

Like most British cycling fans, last year’s Giro had me hooked, whether it be Geraint Thomas’ heart-breaking withdrawal or Tao Geoghegan Hart’s week three heroics. To watch Rohan Dennis and Tao steam up the Stelvio was utterly inspiring, riveting and equally bonkers! With the cold conditions and snow-covered mountain, it was a sight to behold and every day since I have pictured myself climbing Passo dello Stelvio.

The dream would be fans at the roadside at this year’s Tour, with travel restrictions lowered. It would be perfect if we were able to drive down and watch the Ventoux stage, climb the ‘Giant of Provence’ once more and then traverse across to our bucket list climbs in Italy. Here’s hoping the COVID picture improves as the coming months unfold!

If 2020 has taught us all a universal lesson, it is that life is short. Cycling in Italy is dependent on many things, money included, but it is something to strive for. Just as climbing Ventoux was in honour of Tom Simpson’s legacy, to climb Passo dello Stelvio would be to honour Tao’s improbable win at the Giro d’Italia. If not Italy though, I’d like to match my 6,000 miles ridden in 2020. The underlying passion is cycling, so I shall continue to tell my legs to shut up, no matter what road lies beneath my wheels.

Here’s to a great 2021 for us all.


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