Hannah Walker

Hannah Walker

Hannah Walker

Adidas Journeys

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Back in July when I got a phone call asking if I would like to be a part of a cycling trip to Italy with Adidas I pounced at the opportunity. I was so excited; as earlier in the year I was the main girl in the #mygirls cycling advert which you can see HERE. 

 

The weeks leading up to the trip seemed to take forever! My #adidasjourneys (search on instagram the hashtag to see the journey pictures) started with a flight to Munich on the 1st September where I would meet all the staff and participants; Tom, Henrik, David, Dan, Simon, Ralf, Joerg, Ronny, Claudia and the film crew, all were mostly from around Germany, and we’d all drive in convoy through Austria to Bolzano, Italy. I’d been in four countries that day…Great Britain, Germany, Austria and Italy, a pretty cool way to start the journey; little did I know what South Tyrol would have in store for us in the coming days. Breath taking scenery would have been an understatement, cycling up mountains passes so high we were in the clouds and strangers who have now become lifelong friends pretty much sums up the journey. Cycling on average 80-90km and climbing around 2500m each day took its toll with the biggest day of climbing on the second day with 3600m, we were treated to a surprise on our rest day; Paragliding, yes PARAGLIDING!! and a cookery lesson from a 2 star Michelin Chef Norbert Niederkoffler, we ate like royalty every day, it made me feel so lucky and special to be a part of this adventure. Experiencing the culture of South Tyrol, eating their traditional dishes, with all the food coming from local sources, and drinking so many different wines from the area I could now be a pro wine connoisseur.

 

The fourth day of riding we rode stage 20 of the 2013 Giro d’Italia which Vicenzo Nibali won. It went up a climb, sorry actually more of a mountain which is now my favourite ride, maybe because I have the QOM Strava up the Cortina d’Ampezzo to Tre Cima de Lavaredo. The further to the top you got the less life you saw,  it was just rock and mountains to be seen, it was like you had ridden so far for so long upwards you were now on a different planet. It was a surreal feeling. When I’d reached the top I’ve never had a feeling inside me like it. All 1hour 33minutes of climbing the mountain was pain yet the satisfaction too have completed the achievement was so great, I had tears in my eyes. Plus I was the 4th rider to reach the top…behind two ex-pros may I add…Ronny Scholz who rode for Gerolsteiner and Team Milram and Claudio Camin who rode for Liquigas. Happy days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last day of riding consisted of 155km to Venice, a city I’d never visited before. Everyone was so tired, yet still so upbeat after 355km in the legs from the past week, a sense of achievement and pride overcame everyone once we had completed the journey. No one wanted it to end. Our last day of the journey was a trip into Venice, we visited art galleries and walked the streets of Venice experiencing the culture, the buildings were magnificent, and they almost told a story just by looking at them.

 

It was time to go home on Monday the 9th so our drive to Munich began but not before lunch in Salzburg with Tom and Henrik. A beautiful place, one for my bucket list to visit properly and in more detail! For one whole week I didn’t stop laughing and I felt free as a bird riding my bike with no stress and not a care in the world! It was the dream trip with Adidas, and I can’t thank them enough! I recommend anyone whether you’re a cyclist or not to visit Alto-Adige, South Tyrol, it really will amaze you, I guarantee you won’t regret it!

You can ride the routes we rode or simply just see what we did each day by visiting www.adidasjourneys.com/suedtirol/

 

Or watch the video HERE.

 

Hannah x

 

104_Paolo_Martelli_4554-1024x681 Hannah Walker, Passo Sella