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Gravel racing Land's End to John O'Groats — GBDURO 2021

Mark Beaumont

Gravel racing Land's End to John O'Groats — GBDURO 2021

Bike Touring Collection by Mark Beaumont

6

Tours

131:19 h

1,221 mi

114,300 ft

GBDURO is the ultimate Land's End to John o'Groats bikepacking and gravel adventure: a 2,000 kilometre self-supported bikepacking enduro on road, gravel, singletrack, and everything in between.​ The annual race is organised by The Racing Collective and has a strict #noflyride and #leavenotrace principals. You can also ride the route at any time, which has been named the GB Divide.

This was the third time the race had run, and with over 250 applicants for just 60 places, you had to be a seasoned rider with an impressive palmarès in order to even start. All told, just 14 riders finished this 2021 edition of the race within the General Classification (meaning that they finished all four stages within the allotted time).

This was my first endurance competition, having spent my career doing expeditions and record attempts, and so it became dubbed my 'maiden race'.

Through the sleep deprivation, the often foul weather and the suffering, I absolutely loved the camaraderie and challenge. It was also a staggeringly beautiful route and I would encourage everyone to explore this Collection, as well as finding new sections of the British Isles to discover.

Check out the full race results from The Racing Collective here: theracingcollective.com/gbduro-results.html

Visit the official GBDURO Collection on komoot here: komoot.com/collection/1271169/gbduro-great-britain-end-to-end-off-road-on-the-gb-divide

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • 16:05
    185 mi
    11.5 mph
    17,400 ft
    17,050 ft

    Land's End is an iconic start point for any journey - and one that I know well for road routes to John O'Groats having recently completed the 874 miles in 39 hours and 40 minutes as a 2 person relay - averaging 23 mph. But this route, set by the Racing Collective, would be much harder, much more interesting and …

  • 18:56
    166 mi
    8.8 mph
    14,650 ft
    14,050 ft

    The Mendips were much tougher than I expected - and it feels like you are 'about to reach Bristol' for about 5 hours. This section includes some hike-a-bike, before reaching some stunning cycle paths and country lanes. The route skirts Bristol. so you only pass a few shops on the way out - so a detour is needed if you …

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  • 05:47
    42.6 mi
    7.4 mph
    5,425 ft
    5,975 ft

    I rode all of this section in the dark - so can't give the best descriptions. The forests were like a never ending labyrinth and the tracks were slow as it had rained a bit, and the dirt was sticky on the tires. So much so I thought my brakes were rubbing - amazing where your mind goes in the …

  • 36:27
    292 mi
    8.0 mph
    34,025 ft
    32,325 ft

    Arguably the toughest stage of GB Duro. Whilst not the longest, the hills are relentless through Wales. Over 10,000m of ascent in 469km. There is a brief recovery in the flatlands through Chester and the Manchester canal - but then the most technical riding on the whole LEJOG is through Yorkshire, with the Pennine Bridalway - which in many parts …

  • 31:22
    303 mi
    9.7 mph
    24,775 ft
    25,800 ft

    I didn't stop on this stage - and it was 33 hard hours riding! I would have stopped, but it was raining for most of the night, is I thought I would just get cold if I stopped in wet kit. The night shift lasted roughly from Falkirk to Loch Tummel, so through Stirling, Callander, up the cycle path past …

  • 22:42
    232 mi
    10.2 mph
    18,025 ft
    17,525 ft

    The shortest stage of GB Duro - and in my opinion the most stunning. After 80km (50 miles) you reach the village of Contin, which is the only place you can reliably pick up supplies. From there it is a very remote route for 300km. The best bit by far is Alladale Reserve - a stunning estate which you ride …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    6
  • Distance
    1,221 mi
  • Duration
    131:19 h
  • Elevation
    114,300 ft

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Gravel racing Land's End to John O'Groats — GBDURO 2021