1400 km from Whitehorse to Tuktoyaktuk in winter time


When someone noticed me that a new arctic road was built in the north Canada, I said him "I must be the first to cross it!". Tuktoyaktuk is a small village in the northern part of Canada (Northwest Territories region) and until November 2017 the only way to reach it was by flight or, in alternative, by driving along the McKenzie river (only in winter time, where the river was iced). So I started thinking about an extreme adventure to reach this village with my gravel bike and I fixed the start point in Whitehorse (Yukon) planning a 1400 km route and a 10 stages timetable.

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A winter time challenge is a really stressing test for bike, equipment (and of course, for the rider!). This is why I have to choose the best in terms of apparel, wheelset and equipment considering that the temperature is constantly under zero Celsius degrees (and in Canada I found temperature from -10°C to -30°C)

I use merino wool base layer: this is really important to isolate your skin and to have a first "warm" shell. The new Mavic Cosmic winter kit did the rest of the job: I used the Cosmic Pro Softshell Jacket (switched with the "Vision" one during the arctic nights) and the Cosmic Pro Wind Bib Tight as main "uniform". Merino wool Ksyrium Pro Thermo+ socks was my choice to protect my foot under the Ksyrium Pro Thermo shoes, the only shoes I can imagine to use over there (already tested during my 2016 and 2017 adventures across Norway, Finland and Iceland) Ksyrium Pro Thermo+ Gloves (paired with the slim merino wool gloves) protected my hands against the extreme cold conditions I found.

During this arctic adventure I had the opportunity to test a new gravel bike from "Wilier La Triestina". I setup the bike using the newest Allroad Pro Ust Disc Wheelset, that helped me to keep safe my ride, especially during critical brakes onto the ice surface.

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When you ride across an arctic region everything is different: the beat of your heart, the pain of your legs. Your breath is frozen and the silence of the nature is able to full your heart of emotions: riding out there is a one in lifetime experience. First stages was a real tough challenge. I had to adapt my body to ride in so cold conditions and to keep the bike perfectly balanced on the road because the ice is really deceitful.

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