Europe's Most Beautiful Training Spots for Cyclists

© YouTube
© YouTube
Photo of Luke Bradshaw
Sports Editor22 August 2017

For Lucy Rose’s brilliant new single ‘Second Chance’, the video features Olympic gold medallist Elinor Barker cycling in the stunning Peak District. To honour the song’s release, we asked Elinor to pick out her favourite places to train across the continent.

Peak District, England

Elinor Barker (EB): This is actually the road from the Lucy Rose video and it’s my favourite road to train on. I first rode it about three years ago, not long after I moved to Manchester with the British Cycling team. It’s only an hour ride from my house and it’s a one way road, so you’re not going to be surprised by any cars catching you out. It’s actually very quiet anyway which is such a luxury, having that piece and quiet. It’s also beautiful, such a gorgeous place.

© Nathan Jones/Flickr

Lake Garda, Italy

EB: I went with my sister to ride our bikes and have a bit of a break. We went to Lake Garda and each day would go for a ride for four or five hours at a time. The British under-23 cycling team actually live out there, in a small town nearby – I can’t believe they’re out there, it’s amazing! That trip was actually the first time I’ve ever done something like that – going riding on a break. Mentally, it’s really nice to go out a ride a good distance without thinking about it too much, not worrying about speed or power output. In the end we enjoyed it so much it ended up as one of biggest training weeks of my life.

© KM_Bell/Flickr

Rhigos and Maerdy, South Wales

EB: I’ve actually only done these roads in South Wales four times in my life, but a lot of very good cyclists train here. Although it’s one of my favourite training spots, it’s mainly down to the fact that the roads are pretty horrible. These are mountain roads and can get very steep, hence why they’re horrible, but they’re such a good test.

© Colin Jenkins/Flickr

Mallorca, Spain

EB: Mallorca has become a pretty standard training destination for cyclists. If you head to the north of the island, and get away from the crowds, it’s perfect for training rides. There are roads that suit everything – you can do hill rides for two hours, or for five hours, or a number of different flat stages. Cycle specific businesses are actually setting up on the island because of the amount of people training so there so it has everything you need, cycle shops, mechanics etc. It’s ideal as a winter training destination and a break from the cold.

© Barney Moss/Flickr

Chiltern, England

EB: I’m an ambassador for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and they organised a cycle sportive in Chiltern that I rode. To be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect but it was absolutely beautiful. It was a 140km (87mi) ride and we started at 7am, so it was lovely and quiet. I think over the entire distance we came across one set of traffic lights. There were a few hills, which is good from a training aspect, but there’s nothing too tricky which is perfect for longer rides.

© Richard Gillin/Flickr

Lake Geneva, Switzerland

EB: I have family that live nearby so there were lots of family holidays were spent there when I was young. I went back recently for a corporate event and it was my job to ride people round the lake for a day. Like Chiltern, it started early in the morning meaning no one was around, and we did a perfect lap of the lake. It obviously got quite competitive because we went at quite a pace, I think we did 175km (109mi) in five hours. It’s very flat and has spectacular scenery.

© Matt Machin/Flickr

‘Second Chance’ is taken from Lucy’s new album Something’s Changing which is out now and the track is available to stream on Spotify, here.

Lucy Rose | © StayLoose

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