Road Racing

#BeyondBergen

The UCI Road World Championships kicked off in Bergen yesterday and 2017 marks the 90th anniversary of the professional world championship. Over the years it has grown and evolved; from the addition of the women’s race to the various incarnations of time trial events over the years. 2017 has also been a momentous year for Viva Velo and we too have grown and evolved: the addition of Jessie Walker and Dan Patten to the team; a record number of tours run all over Europe; and the growth of Club Viva Velo (to name just a few highlights). So, with some of the world’s greatest cyclists battling it out in this particularly significant year of the championship, we are looking ahead to what our next challenge might be. We are looking #BeyondBergen.

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So what does lie beyond Bergen? For Viva Velo the answer is a busy 2018 programme of trips and tours, starting with our spring Mallorca camps. We are planning two months of camps in March through to May that look set to be the biggest and best to date. And we can’t wait for you to join us; whether it is for an intense week of spring training, for a more leisurely cycling tour with the family, or your annual getaway with your cycling friends. So when you’re looking to next year, at what comes next, at what the next challenge is, think Viva Velo. Think #BeyondBergen.

Watch this space  for more information on our Mallorca camps and what some of our professional cyclist friends have planned as their #BeyondBergen aspirations.

We at Viva Velo always want to hear from you. Let us know what your next challenge is via Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #BeyondBergen. 

You can also keep up with everything happening at the World Championships in Bergen here.

Dan Patten talks about bikes, bergs and well . . . Belgium!

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As part of my ambassador role with Viva Velo, each month I’ll be writing a blog on a variety of different topics. With my past and present experience of cycling in Belgium, with the classics upon us and with Viva Velo’s first Belgium trip having just gone live, then a blog about Belgium seems somewhat appropriate to kick things off. . . like an excuse is ever needed when it comes to Belgium!

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Having come into cycling quite late, it was fortunate that my first ever cycling team (Pacific Flanders) had such an appropriate sponsor that soon introduced me to cycling in Belgium. The racing is arguably the hardest in the world and with races almost every day of the week during the season, it really is a racers paradise. No surprise it is a country has produced and continues to produce so many great champions.

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The racing itself however is not simply about the racers, its about the whole town or towns that it passes through. For any race in Belgium the crowds will be out and playing their part, race after race and year after year in this show played out on two wheels. It all makes for a very special place to race a bike and for all these reasons and more I’ve kept coming back year after.

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But Belgium isn’t just about racing, I learned that it was simply a great place to ride a bike. From cobbles to canal paths, country lanes to bike lanes, short and steep cobbled bergs to longer and smoother climbs, Flanders to the Ardennes, Belgium has it all. With so much history on and off the bike, it really does provide a special setting to ride a bike. And with cycling being so popular in this country, it truly is a pleasure, in all its forms.

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When it comes to describing Belgium I really could go on and on, but why not come and see for yourself with Viva Velo’s Belgium trip in July?  Based in Oudenaarde you will be in the heart of Flanders and the centre of this cycling paradise. A beautiful town in itself, with historic architecture, bars/cafes/restaurants, the Centrum Ronde Van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders musesum) and more all based around Oudenaarde’s market square. Now the finishing town of the Ronde Van Vlaanderen and with all the main attractions of this historic race (and others) all a close ride away, it truly is, in my opinion, the place to come and visit . . . and ride your bike!

In the meantime feel free to follow my Belgian adventures on Instagram/Twitter @dfpatten and likewise to contact with any questions. Until next time!

Dan

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Dan Patten joins Viva Velo

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As Viva Velo’s reputation for providing first class cycling tours and events continues to grow once again we are pleased to welcome a member of the professional cycling community to the fold as a brand ambassador.  Many of you will know Dan Patten from his recent exploits for Team Wiggins over the last two years where you may recall he was involved in a first stage breakaway in the 2016 Amgen Tour of California as well as winning the King of the Mountains in the GP Wales.  You can see an interview with Frankie Andreu after that first day in the ATOC the video below.

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Born in Essex, Dan studied at Loughborough University before becoming a professional cyclist and for thos that like a number or two Dan’s certainly are impressive.  With a VO2 max of 83.8 and a power to weight ratio of 7.2w/Kg Dan demonstrates the enormous chasm in performance between someone able to compete at the highest level and the average club cyclist – let alone the rest of us weekend warriors!  And yet it is generally acknowledged that Dan remains one of the most approachable and down to earth pros in the peleton – a perfect qualification for a Viva Velo brand ambassador.  But this should come as no surprise, for Dan began his cycling racing in the Surrey League as well as competing at Lea Valley and Hogshill, familiar venues to many a club rider.  He then moved to Belgium to race for several years before finally getting a break with UCI Continental team Team SmartStop Mountain Khakis in 2013 – having previously raced for UCI Pro-continental team Magnus Maximus Coffee.com (2009).  He then progressed to another UCI pro-continental team, 7 Eleven by Roadbike Philippines (2014) before landing his contract with Team Wiggins.

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Without a contract for 2017, Dan is looking to broaden his cycling CV by working with Viva Velo (and other cycle tour companies) as a ride leader as well as expanding his coaching interests.  For Viva Velo specifically as well as joining us on some of our rides and tours we hope, he will be writing a regular monthly blog on a range of topics which we are sure you will find interesting and engaging.

His first blog will be about racing in Belgium – a place he knows intimately – and his joint venture with Viva Velo to offer tours to some of the most famous cycling destinations in that country so watch this space.  What could be better than retracing the wheel tracks of so many cycling heroes in the presence of someone with the knowledge and experience to bring that history alive on the bike?!