Riding, eating and sleeping. Repeat it until you reach the North Cape!
RIDER: Federico Damiani
IMAGES: Stefano Zotti
LOCATION: Rovereto – North Cape
F. Hey Luca, PG. I decided to ride the North Cape 4000 nevertheless.
L. That’s cool! Which kind of glasses do you need then?
F. Well, I don’t know. I’m planning to ride day and night. I would say something that’s both a pair of sun-glasses and a pair of moon-glasses I guess. Can you help me with that?
When we got the call we were finally relieved. We’ve been chatting with Fede quite a bit lately and we knew he had many doubts about taking part in the NC4000 this year. Main reason being the quickly changing Covid-19 regulation all over Europe – the event crosses 10 borders to get to the finish line and risking being stuck in a foreign country with just a pair of bibshort, a cycling jersey and a rain jacket is not a decision one can take lightly.
But let’s step back for a second. North Cape 4000 is a fixed-route ultracycling event that starts from Italy and crosses Europe. The starting point always changes – this year was set in Rovereto, on Garda Lake – while the finish line is always the same and is set in quite an iconic place: North Cape – the northernmost point of the Continent. You simply can’t ride – or drive – further north than that. In 2021, reaching its fourth Edition, the North Cape 4000 followed a route going towards East, summing up to 4475 km and 30K elevation. Lining up among 190 riders in Rovereto.
Long story short, he managed to get to North Cape safe and sound, in 12 days and 12 hours. Quite an interesting ride we challenged him to sum up in just three sentences.
The North Cape 4000 was definitely the experience of a lifetime and I’m so happy I decided to start in the end, despite all the troubles and uncertainties. After taking the leap you enter a bubble and you’re not able to think about much more than riding, eating and sleeping. Repeat it until you reach the North Cape!
Crossing Europe this way was great, because you see things quite fast but you’ve a lot of time to think about the cultures you meet and everything that crosses your path. Before getting to Finland – which is soooo long that took four days to be passed – you basically cross a border a day. From the morning to the evening everything changes: landscapes, languages, people, rules. Even currency, sometimes. It’s a mix of inputs that you slowly process after the end of the event and definitely helps you widen your perspectives on your place in the World.
There are ups and downs, sunny days and rainy days, there’s tailwind (not that much) and headwind (way, way more of course). You live everything much more intensely than usual because of your mood, your mental and your physical conditions. All these strong emotions pile up during the ride. Suddenly you find yourself at the finish line. For me it was such an intense moment! I can’t explain or find a specific reason why, but I started crying like a baby. I can’t even remember if I was wearing my Deltas at that time. But I don’t care: I do not feel ashamed about that. Men DO cry, when they get a bit closer to their soul.
ARRIVAL: North Cape
LENGHT: 4473 km
TOTAL ELEVATION: 29.680 m
DURATION: 12 days