Anonymous rider takes down Strava segments in Australia and Oman – could this finally give away their identity?
JP has returned. The so-called ‘Banksy of Strava‘ has posted their first activities on the ride-sharing service since January 2015, and the anonymous rider’s thirst for KOM titles appears to be intact.
Three new activities have been uploaded to the JP Strava account in the past two weeks: two in Australia and one in Oman – tying in with professional races in the two countries.
Two rides on Thursday, February 11 and Saturday, February 13, saw JP take on the various segments on the Norton climb east of Adelaide, Australia, which was used in the Tour Down Under.
JP posts some impressive figures, pushing out 400 watts for 10 minutes on several of the segments, and his time up the climb beats that of pros such as Peter Stetina, Lars Boom, Jesse Sergeant and Jay McCarthy which were posted during the TdU.
Then there’s a third new ride posted on Monday, February 15, in Oman – where the Tour of Oman is currently taking place. The ride is only 10.9 miles (17.5km) long, but averages 26.7mph (43kmh). No KOMs this time, though.
A slightly disgruntled Adelaide rider who previously held several of the Norton Road KOMs – known as Durianrider on Strava – has posted a video on YouTube examining JP’s ride around Adelaide in depth, during which he exclaims “Who the **** is JP?”.
Given that Durianrider’s video is titled ‘Lance Armstrong Stole My Strava KOM?!’, it’s clear who he thinks it might be, but concludes his video saying: “We’re going to find out who this person is and bring them to Strava justice”.
Watch: Durianrider examines JP’s ride. Warning: contains bad language
The identity of JP has been a mystery since they first started posting up KOM-smashing rides on Strava in 2013. Back then, they set a fast time up the Surrey climb of Box Hill before claiming several other well-known climbs around England.
Then in August 2014, JP uploaded a ride in Majorca, during which they claimed the Sa Calobra climb segment, beating numerous pro racers’ times.
The speculation that it is Lance Armstrong comes from JP’s use of an image of Armstrong, and that Armstrong has used the alias ‘Juan Pelota’ in the past. But it’s not Armstrong…
Others think it could be former British national hill-climb champion Jack Pullar – JP, you see – although Pullar has denied it’s him.
Investigations by CW came up largely blank, although several British riders based in the north claim to know who it is, and that it is not a current ‘professional’ rider, but one with a lot of talent.
Given that the latest rides are in Australia and Oman, we could conclude that the rider has taken part in races in both countries. The only British rider taking part in the Tour of Oman is Mark McNally, but he was riding in the Tour of Qatar when JP posted his Australian rides.
So maybe it’s a retired pro working for a team? Maybe it’s not one person, but several people with access to the account?
For now, the identity of JP remains a mystery.