20th June 2023
Hellenic, Atlas & Silk Road Triple Mountain Races | Michele Miani
At Mason, we take immense pride in sponsoring inspirational riders like Michele Miani, who fearlessly take on epic cycling challenges around the world. Michele recently embarked on the Hellenic mountain race, the third installment of "Mountain Races" put on by Nelson, who also runs the legendary Silk Road Mountain Race and The Atlas Mountain Race. We wanted to take the opportunity to congratulate Michele for completing this insanely tough trio of events and dive into how his ride went on the inaugural Hellenic Mountain Race
Michele faced a grueling test of endurance and perseverance on this edition. Battling through rain, mud, and treacherous terrain, his determination and the performance of his RAW propelled him to a commendable 6th overall position. We couldn't be more thrilled to support Michele and witness the incredible stuff he gets up to. The Hellenic mountain race was just another testament to the durability and reliability of the Mason Raw, reinforcing our commitment to creating #FastFar bikes that can handle any adventure.
The RAW draws on 8 years of #FastFar bicycle design and almost 25 years of metal frame design. Developed in conjunction with riders at the highest level, along with our team here at MASON and our highly experienced frame builders and Italian & UK tube and component suppliers.
Find out more about the RAW
Here I am, and I have to admit... I'm absolutely in love with Nelson and how he organizes his races. So, I couldn't resist participating in the first edition of this new race in Greece. Back in October, when we were in Morocco, we talked about it and heard that it was supposed to be an easier ride compared to the other two sister events.
Unfortunately, my winter hasn't been the best. I didn't have much time or the right mindset to train properly. But, hey, it didn't worry me too much because, at my age, experience is what counts, and I'm certainly not easily scared.
And so, off I went! Everything started off a bit complicated because the logistics in Greece regarding airports, starting points, and destinations were not easy to connect.
It was wonderful to reunite with friends from all over the world, catch up, and enjoy a beer together. The familiar faces are always a comfort.
Ready, set, go! We set off on a Saturday morning from Meteora with the sun shining... only to have the weather turn bad immediately. Rain, cold, and a highly technical route combined with endless and perennial mud quickly crushed the spirits of all the riders.
This time, Nelson had truly created a challenging path. Slow progress, lots of sections that required walking and pushing, and meanwhile, the hours passed by while the kilometers remained stubbornly the same!
I didn't think twice and kept pushing day and night, only taking short breaks for some sleep.
The landscape was astonishing, completely different from what I imagined Greece to be. It felt more like being in Canada, surrounded by mountains and forests.
The pain started to intensify, but the climbs didn't give us any respite. We even crossed two glaciers in the wind and rain, which I must say, were quite treacherous. Meanwhile, most of the competitors started to withdraw, either because they couldn't bear it physically anymore or because they couldn't keep up with the checkpoints' time limits. It became a real struggle.
On the last day, I too faced a crisis as I ran out of food about 100 km before the finish. But then, a kind soul who lived in a hut offered me four hard-boiled eggs, which revitalized me, and I managed to push through to the finish line.
It was an incredible test for both me and my fantastic Mason Raw bike, which had to endure 950 km and 31,000 meters of elevation gain in the midst of mud, water, and rocks (P.S. One night, while staring at a river in the dark, we both ended up submerged underwater). But my bike never let me down, as always. It's truly indestructible!
What more can I say? It was an absolutely crazy and amazing adventure. Now, it's time to recover and look forward to what lies ahead.