JP beats pro riders' Strava times on Lanzarote climb


The ‘Banksy of Strava‘ has been at it again. A rider only identified as JP on the ride logging and comparison website Strava has posted super-fast, professional-rider-beating times on a mountain climb on the island of Lanzarote.

The latest ride, posted on Friday January 23, sees JP setting the fastest time up the Tabayesco climb on the Canary island. It’s a 6.4-mile (10.3km) ascent at an average of 6.4 per cent gradient, which JP rode at an average of 15mph (24.1kmh).

JP gained notoriety back in October 2013 when he posted a blistering set of ‘King of the Mountains’ records on Strava segments throughout the south east of England, beating times set by professional riders in the process.

Last year, JP set fast times on some of the climbs used in the Tour de France in Yorkshire, beating the likes of pro riders Laurens Ten Dam and Simon Yates on the Buttertubs climb. Then in August JP set the fastest times on the Sa Colobra climb in Majorca, often used by pro riders as a training climb.

Many wondered about the identity of a rider who could possess such talent, particularly given the use of an image of Lance Armstrong on their Strava account and the hometown given as ‘Aspen, Colorado’, where Armstrong has a residence. Juan Pelota – JP – is a pseudonym sometimes used by Armstrong.

However, it isn’t Armstrong. So speculation turned to whether it is a British rider, with some believing it to be former hill-climb national champion Jack Pullar, something which Pullar denies.

Less charitable observers suggest that JP’s ride times are fake, cooked up by digital manipulation of GPS files.

For now, the identity of JP and how he can beat seasoned professionals up some of the toughest climbs in Europe remains a mystery. Where will JP strike next?

  • Robin Jansen

    The guy has been at it again in february 11-15……

  • Jez

    JP has long suspected of being Jack Pullar. A simple trawl of Jack Pullar’s Twitter feed (see screen grab) for Jan 24th reveals ‘Good out in here in Lanza..’ complete with mountainous backdrop. Mystery over?

  • Jake Riggs

    He’s on an e-bike with some insane assist.

  • avtechnician

    The Buttertubs Pass is in the middle of nowhere and isn’t that big. I honestly think if it wasn’t for the TDF prologue it would go unnoticed. I can’t imagine Lance Armstrong flying all the way from Austin, Texas ( not Aspen, Colorado ) to do that segment that is only 4.4km long and 287m high.

  • jonathan polley

    I can confirm its not me

  • mdf

    Easy enough to generate it based on terrain model and such. Could also scale OBD-II fuel consumption and engine speed data from a car down to human-on-a-bike. All sorts of ways to fake this stuff.

  • Yggdrasil

    I’m pretty sure it is Pullar. I know J. Gullen (third on that segments leaderboard) – he and his team (which includes Pullar) were abroad at that time on training camp

  • Mick McLoughlin

    The time isn’t even near the best time. Dave Smith below says it perfectly. Time is not even near the best time on the climb which is a sub 20. The fact is the really fast guys don’t feel the need to post their times.

  • Pee Bee

    It’s the Stig from Top Gear.

  • Dave Smith

    Does’nt have to be fake as time is reasonable but not over impressive. Years back I worked on training camps at Club La Santa and we always raced up this climb. Plenty of guys better than this. They were not pros and the climb was more difficult then as the section after the crossroad was a very poor surface…resurfaced since those days. Not really a story, particularly as most the top guys on the list are not what I would call “proper pros” ie those riding UCI races all season

  • James Hartridge

    You don’t have to be a pro to ride fast, especially for short bursts. I just wish I had the time and money to ride all these iconic, and not so iconic, climbs.

  • designmyjersey

    even more surprising to see Samuel Jackson in 4th place ; )

  • dodgerking

    How do you get cadence and other cycling data by driving?

    really is not all that big of an accomplishment when you do it fresh by
    only riding a total of 18 miles. Pros do this after already riding
    close to 100 miles and after already climbing several thousand feet.

  • dodgerking

    It’s not fake. You can see his actual ride with cadence reading and all. It just is not that big of an accomplishment when you only ride 18 miles total and only do 6 miles of climbing. Pros do this after already climbing several thousand feet and already riding over 80 miles.

  • dodgerking

    to beat pros, but 6 miles with only a 6% grade is not all that
    challenging. The total ride was only 18 miles. Many can maintain a 15
    mph on a 6% grade when your total ride is only 18 miles. Let’s see him
    do that after already riding for 100 miles.

  • mr6

    There are plenty of super strong riders that do not put in the commitment to be a professional rider for various reasons. I know one rider in a top sponsored team, rode the TdF and even finished top 5 in one segment. He has a brother who is faster, consistently can beat his older, TdF bother on most rides, however he is not a professional rider, he has another career

  • Phil Oliver

    It’s a bloke either on a motorbike or in a car…

  • Namothy

    Fake. Doesn’t even have to manipulate the data, just needs to drive slow.

  • Tim Phillips

    It’s so obviously fake ..