We kick off 2019 with the seventh and final episode of Explore, our series looking at the worlds of bikepacking, endurance and ultra endurance riding.

Lionel Birnie and Hannah Troop are joined by Richard Moore to look back at the highlights of the series and look forward to the way the world’s of professional racing and endurance events may collide in future.

We hear from Simon Mottram, the founder and boss of Rapha, who are attempting to alter the relationship between riding and racing with their sponsorship of the EF Education First World Tour team. How does Mottram see things evolving in the future?

And we speak to EF Education First’s new signing Lachlan Morton, who turned pro for the team when they were Garmin-Sharp, slipped out of the World Tour and, to a degree, lost his passion for the sport before rediscovering it, partly thanks to a bikepacking trip in Australia.

Lotto-Soudal pro riders Tim Wellens and Thomas De Gendt set off on their own unsupported ride at the end of the season. They undertook the ultimate commute – riding home from ‘work’ after their final World Tour race, Il Lombardia, crossing Europe and arriving home in Belgium.

And we hear from Laurens Ten Dam who has kept his love of cycling alive with regular rides outside his usual diet of racing and training.

Plus there’s Hannah’s experiences of the granddady of the cyclo-sportives, the Etape du Tour in the summer, Hannah and Producer Tom give an update on their Festive 500 attempts, and Lionel comes up with a mad-cap twist on luxury bikepacking as his target for 2019.

That brings our debut season of Explore to a conclusion – we’ll return with more adventures later in the year.

Explore by The Cycling Podcast is supported by Rapha, Science In Sport and The Economist.

THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS

Rapha support The Cycling Podcast all year and that support has enabled us to get the wheels rolling on series one of Explore. They have developed a range of clothing and accessories that are perfect for the adventurous world of endurance riding and bikepacking.

Rapha. Adventure Starts Anywhere. Check out Rapha’s Explore range at rapha.cc

Science In Sport are our other long-term supporters and if you are going to accept the challenge of a long multi-day ride, you need to get your nutrition right. Get 25 per cent off all Science In Sport energy drinks, bars and gels at scienceinsport.com by using the code SISCP25 at check-out.

The Economist

For over 170 years, The Economist has delivered trustworthy intelligence that helps people like you choose where to stand on the issues that matter most. We are delighted to announce that The Economist is also supporting series one of Explore. All UK-based listeners can get a free print copy of The Economist by texting CYCLE to 78070