Maximilian Schnell is currently heading into his final week of a massive self-supported ride. A few months ago, he set off on an attempt to follow the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France, and La Vuelta a España, back to back, carrying all of his own gear and riding between stages and each tour. He has been following closely behind or ahead of the peloton, covering over 15,000 kilometers, and has just under 1,500 kilometers left. We caught up with Maximilian for a short chat to learn a bit more about his ride and how it’s been going.
Why’d you decide to ride the three tours?
Last year, I tried to follow the Giro. After stage 5 I quit, it was too tough. So, I got the idea after that challenge, in order to make a comparison between pro cycling today and how it was when the Tour actually started in 1903. I also wanted to promote bikepacking, since it’s also an important part of my life. I don’t own a home, I live on my bike. I wanted to make an ultra-cycling project, but really ultra-endurance, as for me, a 2,500-5,000 kilometers race is not an ultra, it’s a one-week suffer test. I wanted something that would last months…
What has been the biggest challenge so far?
The rain and cold in Italy, no question.
Tell us about your bike and gear. Has anything changed during your ride?
I ride a Triban GRVL TI 900. We changed the rims out for a road rim and Continental 5000 tyres, plus a dynamo hub for more autonomy. So far, I’ve replaced the brake pads, tyres, and chain.
How much riding do you have left?
At the time of writing, I have a bit less than 1,500 kilometers left (Tour de France + Transitions were 5,500 kilometers in total), so I’m 6-7 days away from reaching my goal. Two big mountain stages and the last painful 550-kilometer transition to Paris are ahead of me. My biggest challenge was the double Ventoux climb a couple of days ago. Man, with a 35-kilogram bike, putting in a 5,500-meter elevation gain day was really tough.
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