When their Aqua Blue team abruptly announced they would be dissolving and not participating in the Tour of Britain as planned, two of the riders with their names on the races’s start list, Conor Dunne and Larry Warbasse, were left scrabbling for contracts and their place in the sport. Rather than spending the unexpected week off lamenting their impending unemployment, the two friends set off on a different Tour – of the French and Italian Alps.
Named the NoGo Tour (as apposed to the Ovo Tour1), their journey captured the imagination of fans and fellow pros alike. The coverage is all a delight, and worth enjoying:
- Larry’s daily Rouleur blog, with occasional contribution from Conor, details their journey and Larry’s thoughts on the ride.
- The Cycling Podcast’s excellent Friends of the Podcast special was recorded en route, also including the build up to Conor’s aborted participation in the Tour of Britain and the shuttering of Aqua Blue saga. The podcast Friends programme is fantastic value at £15 a year for extensive content throughout the year.
The BBC covered the journey with a short video talking to the riders and including some of the footage they took.
All of this coverage is fun and captures the upbeat, adventurous spirit that Conor and Larry showed when embarking on the trip. All the reaction has reflected this with a similarly positive enthusiasm.
The overriding message of the NoGo Tour was getting back to enjoying riding for the sake of fun and adventure. This was two professional riders who ride their bikes all year to relentlessly train, race and hurt themselves falling in love with cycling again. Too often when trying to be like the pros we do so by spending too much money on fancy kit and charging around chasing Strava segments. Maybe we should try to be more like the pros Larry and Connor and spend time enjoying the outdoors, and our bikes, with friends.