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Why this Italian ultracyclist is riding 2,000km to COP26

Emma Cole
20 Oct 2021

Omar di Felice to start first stage of ‘Bike to 1.5°C’ from Milan to Glasgow on Saturday, spreading the word about pedal power

Ultracyclist Omar di Felice is cycling 2,000km to the COP26 climate conference to inspire more people to cycle, and to demonstrate that the bike is the vehicle of the future.

He will cycle from Milan to Glasgow, setting off on Saturday 23rd October and will arrive in Glasgow on eight days later. After a day’s rest, he will enter COP26 with his bike.

40-year-old di Felice, who has just spent three days recovering from a brutal Italian storm which saw him pull out of the Two Volcano Sprint, hopes that his ride to COP26 and his overall project will show that the bike is the perfect vehicle for protecting the planet.

‘As a cyclist, I have seen the effects of climate change on many of my cycling trips around the world,’ explains di Felice. ‘So, I decided to do something to spread the word about climate change and to show how the bike can be a great tool in the fight against the crisis.

‘Going to COP26 with my bike will be a really proud moment for me, I love my bike, I love cycling and I want to get more people cycling to help the planet.’

The route passes through Switzerland, Germany, France, Luxembourg and Belgium before heading up through England to Scotland.

Di Felice will be unsupported for the 2,000km, riding the new Wilier Rave SLR and using Miss Grape bikepacking bags.

The challenge is the first stage of his new project ‘Bike to 1.5°C’ which is in partnership with the Italian Climate Network and was inspired by the Youth4Climate Summit in Milan this September, where young people came from all over the world to discuss climate change.

The project takes its name from the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.

After COP26, the ultracyclist will cycle to London to speak at Rouleur Live and then head home for some well-deserved recovery.

Follow Omar di Felice’s epic route from Milan to Glasgow on Endu.

Image credits: Omar di Felice and Luigi Sestili

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