116 years ago in the southeast of Paris, there was an idea. Fast forward to present day, and that idea has become the biggest cycling event in the world. But the modern Tour de France is a very different beast from the race undertaken by its first competitors. On bicycles over 100 years old, at the height of summer, Mark Beaumont and James Lowsley-Williams are attempting to cycle the 467km from Paris to Lyon in homage to the pioneers of this great race.
NORSEMAN: THE WORLD'S TOUGHEST TRIATHLON
Every year, 300 of the world's wildest triathletes descend on the fjords of Norway to take part in the toughest race of their lives. The Norseman Xtreme Triathlon includes a 3.8km swim in icy waters, a 180km bike ride with 5000 metres of climbing, and finally a marathon up a mountain. We follow 3 competitors journey's through this epic challenge.
PENNY FARTHING: THE FIRST HOUR
No-one has ever attempted an indoor hour-record on a Penny Farthing, we're about to find out why! Mark Beaumont, James Lowsley-Williams and Chris Opie are attempting a World First Guinness World Record. But they're not just attempting the one record. They must then work as a team in a time trial in an attempt to topple the outdoor record which has stood since 1886.
How far could you ride in 24 hours? Ultra-Endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont is joined by GCN Presenter James Lowsley-Williams as they head north from Bath, England to find out! A top team of academics are monitoring everything from muscle fatigue to psychology and cognitive abilities to see what effect 24 hours of exertion can have on the human body.
THE HOUR OF POWER - CYCLING’S ULTIMATE TEST
Ask cyclists who is the greatest of all time and one name comes up over and over, Eddy Merckx. In 1972 Merckx set a record of 49.431km ridden in an hour on the velodrome. If you had three months, some of the best aero kit known to cycling and some of the best trainers in the world, could you beat the GOAT? This is the challenge amateur cyclist Oliver Bridgewood set himself in the hour of power.
CHILE: THE LONGEST DESCENT - PART 1 - THE HIGHEST VOLCANO
Mark Beaumont and James Lowsley-Williams are in search of the world's longest descent. A search which has taken them to the foothills of the Ojos del Salado in Chile, the world's highest active volcano. It's a crazy plan: scale all 6893 metres of the volcano, with bikes on their backs, enduring extreme altitude and inhospitable terrain. Before turning around and riding back down, all 300 kilometres to the Pacific Ocean.
CHILE: THE LONGEST DESCENT - PART 2 - 6890M TO THE SEA
What goes up, must come down! Mark Beaumont and James Lowsley-Williams are battling crushing altitude and strong winds to hike their bikes to the peak of the world's highest active volcano, the Ojos del Salado. But this is just the start of their mammoth Chilean challenge! They must also descend 6890 metres over 300 kilometres to the Pacific Ocean in order to ride the world's longest downhill.
PATAGONIA: A RIDE INTO THE WILD
Mark Beaumont and James Lowsley-Williams embark on an epic three-day cycling expedition through the wild and wonderful landscape of Patagonia. Gaucho country is full of impressive volcanoes, stunning lakes, untamed wilderness and beautiful fauna. Mark and James have a 300km route planned to take it all in.
COLOMBIA: AN ANDES ADVENTURE
We're grinding epic gravel roads as well as coffee beans in this Colombian cycling adventure! Simon Richardson is joined by Jenny Graham as we climb into the jungle on an expedition to explore Colombian coffee culture.
COLOMBIA: 24HRS IN MEDELLIN
GCN Presenter Simon Richardson & endurance cyclist Jenny Graham are in the vibrant Colombian city of Medellin with only one purpose: explore by bike. We're meeting some figureheads of Colombian cycling and taking in the bike-friendly culture that this bright city has embraced to escape it's troubled past.
COLOMBIA: ROAD TO PEACE
Ultra-endurance cyclist Jenny Graham is on a mission to discover how Colombia is putting it's drug-related past behind it and is developing to focus on a brighter future. During this 270km expedition, Jenny will be meeting victims of the past conflict as well as the ex-guerilla fighters who have downed guns to grow coffee.
WILL YOUR NEXT BIKE BE 3D PRINTED?
3D printing is becoming an important part of the manufacturing process, from rapid prototyping to additive manufacturing. But could we be riding fully 3D printed bikes in the near future? Simon Richardson travels to Amsterdam to find out if it's all a pipedream.
COLNAGO: THE ART OF BICYCLE DESIGN
GCN Presenter Oliver Bridgewood headed to Colnago HQ in Milan to meet the man himself, Ernesto Colnago, the legend behind one of the world’s most iconic bike brands. Can the man who claims that every bike has a soul do the impossible, and pick out just 4 of his bikes which define his brand's legend?
LEGEND: ANDREA TAFI
Andrea Tafi is the charismatic classics hero, the only Italian to win both Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. GCN presenter Dan Llloyd spends some time reminiscing and relaxing with Il Gladiatore at his home in Tuscany.
LEGEND: ANDY SCHLECK
GCN Presenter Dan Lloyd is in Luxembourg to meet Andy Schleck, the 2010 Tour de France champion, to find out how he came to terms with a career-ending injury that forced him to retire before the age of 30. Hailing from a cycling family of great pedigree, we want to pay homage to his victories and find out about his life after cycling.
LEGEND: FABIAN CANCELLARA
GCN Presenter Dan Lloyd has travelled to Switzerland to spend some time with the man they called Spartacus, Fabian Cancellara. Dan will be finding out what he's been up to since his retirement in 2016, delving into his cycling memorabilia treasure trove and attempting to cross country ski whilst getting to know this legend of the Swiss Classics.
ON THE ROAD WITH JOSH IBBETT: RWANDA
Ultra-endurance rider Josh Ibbett is in Rwanda to discover how the country is bouncing back from the infamous genocide of 1994. This small land-locked African nation, is striving to reduce poverty and inequality whilst embracing tourism and cycling culture alike. Josh will ride with the Rwandan athletes of the future and race the 1000km Tour of Rwanda Ultra-Endurance race.
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS PT1
Mark Beaumont: Around the World in 80 Days is a gripping story following one man's remarkable adventure to redefine the limits of human endurance.
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS PT2
Mark Beaumont: Around the World in 80 Days is a gripping story following one man's remarkable adventure to redefine the limits of human endurance.
CYCLING HEARTLANDS - YORKSHIRE
Chris Boardman embarks on a journey through the cycling heartland of Yorkshire to discover why this landscape has produced so many cycling legends.
CYCLING CHANGED MY LIFE - ORLA WALSH
In an extraordinary story, 31 year Orla Walsh, reveals how she swapped her hedonistic party lifestyle, fuelled by alcohol and cigarettes, to become an Irish National Track Champion and Olympic hopeful.
THE COLUMBUS STORY: THE SOUL OF CYCLING
Columbus steel is a name synonymous with cycling. Their steel frame tubing has been used on some of the world's greatest bikes. GCN are in Italy to tell the story of this extraordinary company.
THE KING AND BEERS - A GRAVEL EPIC IN VERMONT
Vermont is a state famous for the Green Mountains, thousands of miles of gravel road and a fantastic craft beer scene. What better way to travel the state and link some of the country's best breweries, than by bike? Ex-pro cyclist Ted King is joined by Elite road and CX racer Regina Legge to do just that.
THE LOST YEAR: HOW PRO CYCLING SAVED THE 2020 SEASON
This is the definitive story of the people who saved the 2020 cycling season. We speak to the people who delivered a race calendar like no other, bringing the UCI World Tour roaring back to life after an unprecedented mid-season halt due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a year that has affected us all, cycling demonstrated that there is hope for professional sports and entertainment.
AFRICA SOLO PART 1
Ultra endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont embarks on an epic 10,000km ride through Africa from Cairo in the North to Cape Town in the South in an attempt to break the world record of 59 days and 8 hours. His ride will take in 8 vast countries including the deserts of Sudan, the highlands of Ethiopia and the breathtaking wine making region of South Africa. Completely unsupported and alone, can he battle his way through this great continent whilst sourcing his own food and water and somewhere to sleep each night?
AFRICA SOLO PART 2
Ultra-endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont is nearing the halfway point in his attempt to cycle from Cairo in the North of Africa to Capetown in the South unsupported, and break the record of 59 days and 8 hours. In Part 2 of his journey through 8 countries along the spine of the continent, we join Mark in Ethiopia as he heads towards the Kenyan border. As the punishing schedule of more than 240 KM (150 Miles) per day under the African sun is starting to show, will he make it to Cape Town in time?
THE ATHERTONS: MOUNTAIN BIKING'S FASTEST FAMILY
The Atherton family name has been a staple in British mountain biking for 2 decades, with huge success in international racing and multiple world championship titles between them, mountain biking's most successful family are have had their ups and downs. With insight from MTB journalists and family friends, we'll be reminiscing on their past achievements, and looking at what the future has to hold. With a sawmill, a bike park and a bike brand recently added to their name, their life in mountain biking is beginning a new chapter. We went to visit them in the Dyfi valley to take a look at how the Atherton drive has turned passion projects into fully fledged businesses.
LOST ORIGINS OF THE MODERN BICYCLE
Neil Laughton, cycling enthusiast, adventurer and record-breaker is joined by cycling experts Scotford Lawrence, Edwin Knight and Jon Cannings to explore the history of the bicycle. They explore every twist and turn of the bicycle’s journey of development through history, including some major successes, and the odd failure! The journey begins with the Laufmachine in 1817 right through to the safety bicycle that has developed into the high-performance machines we know today.
DONEGAL 555: THE WILD ATLANTIC WAY
For GCN Presenter Conor Dunne's first ultra endurance length race, he thought he'd take on one of the toughest, the Donegal 555. Riding solo and against the clock, Conor is embarking on a 555 kilometre ride along one of the most exposed coastlines in the world, the Wild Atlantic Way. He'll be battling ferocious climbs as he puts himself through one of the most challenging physical and mental battles of his life.
BMX: TURNING DIRT TO GOLD
GCN's James Lowsley-Williams and GMBN's Blake Samson are trading in their usual bikes for ones with much smaller wheels, as they try their hand at two variations of the incredibly varied sport of bicycle motocross. We'll explore the history of BMX to learn about the rise, fall and rebirth of one of cycling's most explosive forms. From racing on the track to landing tricks in skate bowls, what does it take to make it to the top level of BMX?
LEGEND: JOHAN MUSEEUW
Johan Museeuw, ‘The Lion of Flanders’ was the most powerful Classics rider of his day. Throughout his seventeen year career, the King of the Bergs took on the most brutal cobbled climbs with great success. With three Roubaix and Flanders wins, multiple other classics victories and a World Road Race title to his name, Johan is a true legend of the sport. Bernie Eisel joins this Flemish legend on a ride around his favourite parcours to chat to him about his racing, his rituals and how he defied death with an inner strength that mere mortals like us can only dream of.
SUPERBIKE: BUILDING THE ULTIMATE CLIMBING BIKE
Climbing. It's doubtful that if we asked you to name your favourite part of the ride, the climb would be it. However, a huge area of cycling is obsessed with the pipedream of increasingly lightweight superbikes. We're setting out to create a no hold's barred lightweight climbing bike, using cutting edge components and materials, to see how light we can go. However, it doesn't stop there. We're then running the numbers to see just how much of a performance increase this bike can lend to a regular in the hillclimbing pain cave. Meanwhile, there's the matter of body weight vs bike weight to the resolve. Has the arms race for the lightest bike possible been the wrong focus all along?
STEEL IS REAL: THE REYNOLDS STORY
Reynolds Technology has been responsible for the tubing in the world’s most famous bikes: Jaques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault’s Tour winning Gitanes; Eddy Merckx’s DeRosa; and Miguel Indurain’s Pinarello… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Reynolds patented the invention of butted steel tubing, a process that dramatically reduces weight in steel bikes, over 120 years ago. GCN+ travels to their factory on the outskirts of Birmingham, UK to discover how the company has survived the threat of more modern materials. That's right, steel is here to stay.
NORTH TO SOUTH: A SPANISH ADVENTURE
Ultra-endurance rider Josh Ibbett is a bikepacker with a string of achievements including winning the Transcontinental race in 2015. His latest challenge is to ride from Bilbao in Spain, to Tarifa - North to South - coast to coast. With an 8 day target, more than 700 miles to cover both on and off road and changeable weather on the horizon, can Josh cross this rugged landscape within his deadline?
CYCLING HEARTLANDS: NORTH WEST ENGLAND
Chris Boardman, distinguished Olympian and road racer, embarks on a tour of Derbyshire, Greater Manchester and Lancashire to discover how, in the last 20 years, this area has become a hub for UK cycling. Along the way he meets up with former Paralympic and World Champion Sarah Storey, track and road legend Rob Hayles and retired UCI president Brian Cookson. But the North West has more to it than just a velodrome. From humble cafe stops, legendary frame builders, Iconic bikes and Gold medal winners of the past and, hopefully the future. It's not just coincidence that has turned the north west into a cycling heartland.
Every city that has products, food or information that needs to be taken from a to b, will have bike messengers. And where there are bike messengers, there are alleycat races. GCN+ explores the bicycle messenger subculture in the UK, and the alleycat races that go hand in hand.
GOING THE DISTANCE: TALES OF ENDURANCE
Some of the world's most formidable endurance riders explore what it takes to ride a really long way! TCR winner James Hayden and TransAM winner Lael Wilcox reminisce on what it means to suffer in two of the toughest ultra-distance races in the world. Round the world record holders, Jenny Graham and Mark Beaumont relive their journeys and share their experiences from planning to kit choice. Investigating the psychology, training and kit pitfalls, the experts navigate a journey to explain what's required to plan and survive an ultra-distance race. But exactly what does it take to go the distance and make it to the finish line?
KETONES: IS IT ROCKET FUEL?
Can ketone esters help fuel elite riders to victory? Is this new legal food supplement the next big advance in sports nutrition? This documentary delves deep into the theory and research surrounding the mystery of the newest super supplement, ketone esters, to find out if they do improve performance. Something at the sharp end of modern nutrition technology comes at a hefty price. Are they worth it though? And why do the majority of world tour teams just want to talk about something else? Endurance cyclist and scientist Jonathan Shubert investigates.
The cycle jersey is an iconic symbol of the greatest teams and winning riders in sporting history. In this documentary ex-pro racer, Adam Blythe explores its history, from its basic beginnings to today's extraordinary feat of technical engineering and design. Nowadays, a cycling kit can literally be the difference between winning and losing a race in terms of performance. From woollen fibres to the sleek, skin-hugging lycra, how has its evolution shaped the cycling world? With exclusive access to one of the world’s finest collections and interviews with the founder of Rapha and Castelli’s top designers, this documentary is a colourful celebration of the jersey.
TRAIN LIKE A BELGIAN
Belgium has one of the richest cycling cultures in the world. Its unique combination of gruelling terrain and changeable weather makes it cycling's school of hard knocks, producing some of the world's toughest riders. In fact, Belgium produces more pro cyclists per capita than any other nation. We sent Bernie Eisel to meet some iconic Flandrians including Tom Van Asbroeck and Roger De Vlaeminck, as well as some of Belgium's future cycling stars find out why.
LEGEND: CHRIS BOARDMAN
Chris Boardman’s 1992 Olympic gold medal changed his life, and helped put Britain on the road to becoming a cycling superpower. Boardman was known as an innovator, whose understanding of training and aerodynamics was years ahead of its time. Oliver Bridgewood meets the time trialling legend who broke three hour records and wore the yellow jersey at the Tour De France three times.
WW1: WAR ON TWO WHEELS
A fascinating insight into the role of the bicycle in the First World War - from reconnaissance to transporting ammunition, historian and cycling enthusiast Jeremy Banning explores stories from the battlefield. Ollie Bridgewood discovers the role cycle scouts played in the Army Cycling Corp and rides the original bikes used in the conflict. Mark Beaumont meets the grandson of a WW1 soldier who rode for the Highland Cyclist Battalion and survived brutal combat on the front line.