14th July 2022
Angus Young's European Divide FKT Challenge
Angus Young is currently in Finland making his way to the start of the European Divide Trail as an ITT tomorrow, Friday 15th July. The route is 7600km from Kirkenes in northern Norway to Cabo San Vincente in Portugal, crossing 8 countries in the process.
He will be using his MasonInSearchOf , our Ultimate Adventure bicycle, with its all-terrain speed and proven ultra-distance capabilities, in an attempt to cover the distance in a mind-blowing 35 days.
Ahead of Angus’ European Divide FKT attempt, we caught up with him to ask a few questions about his biggest challenge yet…
What part do you see as the most challenging? Terrain and physically?
For me, it's the unknown that is the most daunting. I don't know how my body will withstand 5 weeks of punishment, likewise, It's a long time to be so focused on one single goal, and for all, I know my mind could also break before my body.
As far as the riding goes, I think that there will be some tricky bits across the Jura, and then once I hit Spain things will really get tough.
Why did you choose the ISO?
The ISO is excellent for the varied terrain that the EDT has to offer. It offers a little more comfort than the Bokeh due to its wider tyre clearance. Additionally, I have to take a serious amount of kit and the ISO handles really well when loaded up with equipment.
Your goal of 35 days sounds ridiculous to most riders - is this achievable?
My logic in setting a goal time was questionable. I knew that I had a window of around 40 days between finishing teaching for the summer and my brother getting married. I figured that it's about 1.7 times the length of the Tour Divide so 2.5 times the FKT wouldn't be an unreasonable goal. Only time will tell if I am overestimating my ability but that’s part of the magic of trying something new.
What will you eat?
I’ll start out with freeze-dried food because the start has some fairly remote sections. On top of this, I’ve got a bunch of Rawvelo bars. Once I’ve run out of that stuff I’ll eat whatever fresh food I can find.
Highlights of your pre-race prep?
As I got closer to the date of departure, my prep ramped up considerably. I was feeling fairly fit but after a rough HT550 I took a few weeks off the bike and focussed on the mental prep.
Usually, I’d be trying to be optimally lean before racing. This time I spent the 4 weeks before the race putting on as much weight as possible. I’ve gained 8kgs over my usual race weight which I hope will help with the 3000kcal deficit I’ll rack up per day.
How far will you ride per day?
16hrs / 150mile per day
Do you ever get bored when riding for such long hours?
I don’t get bored when cycling, and I’m too stubborn to give up for that.
How will you respond to not having riders to chase or other riders to see on trackers?
I'm hoping that it will help me not go off too fast and ride at my own tempo
How do you look after yourself? Copious sponsorship from Sudocrem? Vaseline advertisement deals?
It's just a case of keeping yourself looked after. In shorter races, you can let things slip a little bit but when you are going for over a month it's essential to stay on top of hygiene.
How do you feel about the round-the-world record?
That would be sweet but it's currently a bit beyond my means.
We’ll be supporting you all the way, how can we track your progress?
You can track me here
- Frame: Mason InSearchOf size L
- Wheels: HUNT Search Dynamo 29
- Groupset: Shimano Ultegra/XT di2 mix 36t chainring, 11-46 cassette
- Bars: Ritchey venturemax carbon 46cm
- Saddle: Specialized Phenom mimic
- Tyres: Vittoria Mezcal 29x2.6
- Bags: Straighcut Designs
- Profile designs aerobars
Checkout Angus’ bike check video for a breakdown of the full kit setup that he’s taken on the EDT ITT
As always, #MasonCycles will be fully behind the attempt and will keep you fully updated.
This will be a dot watching experience that’ll keep us all glued to our screens.
GOOD LUCK ANGUS!