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How Do Pro Cyclists Spend Their Off-Season?

By Joshua Donaldson

Time off is precious to all of us, but to professional cyclists, those few weeks in October and November are like gold dust. It’s time to put the bike away – for most – and relax, try something new or just stare at the wall and wait to get back in the saddle.

In this article, we will highlight some of the best moments from the last month, which has seen the peloton let down its collective hair and enjoy themselves. Because let’s be honest, they deserve it.

Adam Yates and that marathon time

Ok, so just two paragraphs ago, we mentioned riders putting their feet up and relaxing over the off-season. It appears that Adam Yates didn’t get the memo. Instead of cosying up next to a fire and reading a book, the Ineos Grenadiers rider was out pounding the streets of Barcelona, completing the city’s marathon.

With cyclists’ bodies evolving throughout the year to make them better riders, with most avoiding stairs at all costs, it’s a feat in itself that Yates was able to get round the 26.2-mile course. But the time he completed the run in left many in disbelief – he clocked in at 2:58:06. In an Instagram post, he stated that he would stick to the bike riding, which must have been sweet relief to marathon runners around the world.

He also stated that “two weeks on the beach was not ideal preparation,” but after posting that time, maybe most of us are missing the secret of running fast – relaxing on the beach!

Sun, sand and ghosts?

Others have taken their beach time to more ordinary lengths, like Daniel Oss, who showed us what a great time he was having in Zanzibar.

Others were by the sea trying new sports. Marco Haller of Bahrain Victorious was in South Africa, asking his followers how he did on this par 3:

By the looks of the comments, it was not a hole in one.

In the USA, Nathan Haas was getting into the Halloween spirit, dressing up in a Ghostbusters outfit. Now we know who to call if we see any supernatural happenings.

A busman’s holiday

It wouldn’t be an off-season in cycling if there wasn’t some cycling involved.

The Israel Start-Up Nation boys have been busy, soaking up the winter sun of Israel with some mountain biking, as seen here in Chris Froome’s rather excellent selfie taken whilst cycling.

Other have been a little more serious, from Alex Dowsett’s hour record attempt to Marianne Vos and Lucinda Brand ripping up the cyclocross on both sides of the pond.

But perhaps the most fun off-season ride came from Larry Warbasse and Connor Dunne. The AG2R rouleur and the former pro turned GCN presenter reunited on the Canary Islands for the second chapter of their touring adventures.

After riding together at the now defunct Aqua Blue Sport team, they were left high and dry back in 2018 when the team announced that it had folded just days before the Tour of Britain. The pair, without a race to, well, race, and now unemployed, used the opportunity for a bikepacking trip that went down in cycling’s social media folklore – they even made a film about it.

Having gone on different career paths since 2018, the pair have been soaking up some winter sun on the Canary islands and rekindling old memories. And by the looks of it, they are having a blast.

The Masked Nairo

But the best off-season story from a rider going out and enjoying themselves has to be Nairo Quintana. A clip of him taking part in Colombia’s The Masked Singer went viral at the start of October, and very little needs to be said. It is as crazy as it sounds.

Watch for yourself:

Whether they are taking part in a music contest or running a marathon, this diverse peloton never ceases to surprise when they get off their bikes. And the best thing is that it tends to leave you smiling – take it from Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig. And that’s the main benefit of any time off: smiling, relaxing and recharging the batteries.

The riders are now back on their bikes and looking forward to the 2022 season, but what is your favourite memory from an off-season? Let us know on social media!