Rapha Gentlemen's Race Bavaria 2014

Our journey to this event started months before it actually took place on the beautiful roads surrounding Munich. The first leg of the journey brought 4 of us to Mallorca, where originally the race was supposed to take place. Though the race did not happen there, due to short notice, we made the trip happen regardless. We still enjoyed our time at the “Disneyland“ of cycling.

Sometime later we got the second message informing us that the rescheduled race would be in Munich. We were told we needed a team of six to complete the 180km race around Bavaria. We chose Christian Wieners, Christian Lengyel, Allan Berger, Marvin Mangalino, Gui da Rosa, and Josh Hayes.

With the group selected and the logistics sorted out, all we needed was some nice 25mm tires and a ride to Munich. We arrived the Friday before the event for the pre-party at the new Rapha offices. Josh was overly excited about this, as his friends form Amsterdam’s Pristine fixed gear shop would be there. New friends were made and the beginning of a great weekend started.

Saturday was the day of the great adventure. In true Unicorn fashion, we showed up 30 min before the start, undressed but ready for anything to come. We were fourth from last to start, and that was our saving grace. As none of us had a cycling computer with navigation, we relied on the queue sheet from Rapha. That sheet failed us within the first kilometre. That set the bench mark for the day. We got lost almost every third turn, but luckily 2 of the teams that started after us caught us due to all of our wrong turns. The BMW team was nice enough to share the effort of keeping the pace at a good speed and gave us directions. Without their help we would have missed the turn for the really tight, fun single track section.

The ride continued to unfold with more open roads, and the most memorable part was the gravel sections toward the end. Some of them were fun, but one wrong turn sent Josh up a 20% grade of very loose gravel. Everyone else realised it was a wrong turn, but Josh was unfortunately already at the top. That whole section went from rad to ridiculous with golf ball sized rocks, mud sections, and fallen trees. Everyone made it through one way or another, and onto the final stretch. Don’t think it was all smooth paved roads and tailwinds, though. We ended up having to ride across a high grass field. Everyone was glad that their bikes made it through that potential death trap.

We all made it through the final 30km, after the field incident, and found ourselves in the Biergarten where it all started. Beers were drank and all the calories lost were re-consumed. All in all, the group was happy that we finished together, had smiles on our faces, and with friends all around.

Keep it rubber side down, and see everyone again at the next one.

Thank you Rapha for the weekend adventure.

Photos: Christian Lengyel
Text: Joshua Hayes