Our Torino Nice – A Bikepacking Reunion in the Alps (Video)
“Our Torino Nice” is a new video that tells the story of three friends who met through ultra-distance racing reuniting to take on the storied Torino-Nice Rally through the Alps. Given the event’s non-competitive nature, they assumed they were in for a relaxed experience, but the demanding route along some of Europe’s most stunning alpine tracks had other ideas. Find the 20-minute video and an accompanying photo gallery here…
In this captivating new video, three friends embark on a spirited adventure as they reunite to take on the Torino-Nice Rally. Having first met while racing in the inaugural Atlas Mountain Race, the three ultra-racers decided to get the band back together for what seemed like it would be a more relaxed endeavor.
Each equipped with a custom-made bike from Quirk Cycles in the UK, they set out with high hopes of breezing through the route. However, as the journey unfolds, it becomes clear that they may have bitten off more than they can chew. With breathtaking landscapes, unexpected obstacles, and personal trials, this film takes viewers on a ride that tests the limits of friendship, determination, and the human spirit.
Captured and brought to life by filmmaker Michael Drummond, the scene is set for an extraordinary adventure as he joins photographer Tom Jamieson and framebuilder Rob Quirk. Together, they face the challenge of navigating the unknown, drawing inspiration from the daring feats of past Rough-Stuff Fellowship riders.
The idea for participating in the Torino-Nice Rally came about by chance. Having followed previous editions, Rob had been keen to take part but always seemed to miss the application dates due to the old-fashioned method of entry—sending your name on a postcard. As luck would have it, this year was to be different; along with his own, Rob wrote down Mike and Tom’s names on the first postcard he could find and sent it off, hoping they’d be available for the Rally.
Months rolled by, and their excitement mounted, until finally, the news they had been waiting for arrived. Their entry was confirmed, and they were in. It was time to start preparing.
The Torino-Nice Rally route offers a little bit of everything in the form of a challenging yet rewarding mixed-terrain adventure. The course gives a glimpse into seldom-traveled parts of the Western Alps and mixes in a handful of the Grand Tour cols. Participants traverse a mix of high-elevation paved roads and wild and rocky gravel meandering along the French/Italian border.
Foolishly, perhaps, the scale of the endeavor had been lost on our protagonists. Maybe they’d become complacent from years of racing ultras to the point that the idea of a rally—an event made for enjoying rather than racing—made them feel no more worried than a ride at home on more familiar trails. They set themselves the task of ticking off 110 kilometers (68 miles) a day, which was undoubtedly achievable in their minds. What was there to worry about?
Even if they were not up to the task, they could rest assured that their bikes would be. All three were equipped with one of the models from Quirk Cycles 29er range: the SUPRACHUB, SUPERCHUB, and Overland. With the many miles of tarmac on route, the surefooted confidence a 29er platform gives when off-road would have been deemed a fair trade-in for on-road efficiency, especially given the nature of the rally.
Tom opted for the SUPRACHUB, a drop-bar 29er kitted out for ultimate float and traction. He felt drawn to the familiarity of drop bars but with the added control of the Rudy suspension fork and comfy 2.0″ tires. Mike, carrying all the film equipment, needed something tough and capable with excellent cargo capacity, so the Overland was his choice. Built to be an off-road pack horse, the Overland was designed with bikepacking in mind. Rob plumbed for the SUPERCHUB, a lively hardtail designed for long days in the saddle blasting trails. The plush fork is a welcome addition for bikepacking, as are the wider 2.4” tires to soak up the bumps.
With bikes picked, bags packed, air in the tires, and a rough plan in place, all that remained was the journey to begin the journey. While Torino is where the rally officially starts, it began way before with the long drive south from England. The military roads and tucked-away refuges awaited three adventure-hungry friends, and they would end up finding plenty of it.
Make sure to dig into these related articles for more info...
Please keep the conversation civil, constructive, and inclusive, or your comment will be removed.