The European Divide Trail: 7800km from Norway to Portugal (Video)

Last summer, ultra-endurance cyclist Angus Young from the UK set out to establish a competitive fastest known time on the European Divide Trail, which spans 7,800 kilometers (4,850 miles) between Norway and Portugal. A little over a month after setting out from the continent’s northern reaches, he did exactly that. You can watch the full 20-minute film documenting his journey here…

Photos by Ryan Le Garrec and Jake Ovington, video by Maciek Tomiczek

British ultra-endurance cyclist Angus Young said he was captivated by the European Divide Trail from the moment it was unveiled by creator Andy Cox in May 2021. Riding its entire 7,800-kilometer (4,850-mile) length between Grense Jacobselv in Norway and the lighthouse at Cabo San Vincente Portugal shot straight to the top of his list, and he began figuring out how to make it a reality. As a chemistry teacher, he only had a six-week summer break to pull it off, meaning an intense effort was the only way to complete the journey in time to return to his students.

Correction: At 5,950 miles (9,575 kilometers), the Eastern Divide Trail (the other EDT) is the world’s longest bikepacking route!
  • Angus Young, European Divide Trail FKT
  • Angus Young, European Divide Trail FKT

Beyond the practical time constraint, Angus explained what drove him to complete the route in record time: “While I appreciate a leisurely pace at times, I believe there’s no better way to experience a trail than to race through it as fast as possible. This might seem counterintuitive to some, but the intense mental and physical highs and lows that go in and out of phase with the trail create a deeply personal connection that I haven’t always felt when taking a more relaxed approach.”

Angus Young European Divide
  • Angus Young, European Divide Trail FKT
  • Angus Young, European Divide Trail FKT

Fast forward to summer 2022, and it was really happening. Angus says, “Before I knew it, I was skinny dipping in the Barents Sea, with an entire continent waiting for me.” Just 32 days, 6 hours, and 28 minutes later, he was standing at the southwesternmost point of Europe in Portugal, having pedaled across nine countries in the fastest known time, which will surely be a challenging one to beat. Filmmaker Maciek Tomiczek cut stitched together a mountain of GoPro footage as well as clips from Antonin Michaud-Soret and Ryan Le Garric to create a 20-minute video that chronicles Angus’s ride. You can watch the video above and find some related posts below.

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