A mystery cyclist beat the Strava times set by professional riders on Box Hill and a number of well-known climbs in Kent and Surrey at the weekend.

Identifying themselves as ‘JP’ and controversially using a photo of Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France yellow jersey as their avatar, the rider took on three laps of a circuit of Box Hill on Saturday, October 12, and beat the mark set by Madison-Genesis professional Ian Bibby during the RideLondon Classic road race in August. On their fastest lap, they ascended Box Hill at 19.5mph.

In all, ‘JP’ set a total of 18 King of the Mountains records for the various Box Hill segments – well, until someone flagged their ride, meaning that their times now did not appear on the segment pages.

On Sunday, ‘JP’ turned their attention to a rain-lashed Kent to put themselves at the top of the leaderboard for Toys Hill and Ide Hill, two well-known climbs to local riders. On Monday, they headed west to Swindon and took the Uffington White Horse and Inkpen Hill segments in Wiltshire but fell short on a number of others. And Tuesday’s ride features a loop east of Swindon, with yet more KoMs in the bag. The latter two rides have since been made private or deleted.

JP broke their silence and left a message on Strava under the Box Hill ride on Tuesday: “Apologies to Ian Bibby etc, every time some chump flags this ride you end up getting another avalanche of lost KOM emails”  

Speculation as to the identity of the super-fit hill-climber has been rife – even more so as their home residence is stated as being Aspen, Colorado, USA, which happens to be second home to Armstrong. The account was originally created under the name Leeroy Jenkins, rather than JP, in reference to a long-running World of Warcraft gaming joke featuring a character than runs in and annihilates everything, ruining everyone else’s game. Quite apt.

The only other piece of evidence is their bike – listed as being an Ax Lightness Vial, a superlight, super-expensive model that costs just under £13,000. The rumours were compounded by the presence of several top international riders in the London area over the preceding week. Could one of them have strapped on a Garmin and had a cheeky couple of rides on the hills?

There have also been a few, perhaps less generous, commentators suggesting that the rider’s GPS mapping has been ‘doped’, using a tool such as ride manipulating website Digital EPO which allows you to increase the average speed of your ride. Manipulated ride data makes a nonsense of times set on Strava’s segments. You could feasibly bumble along on your gran’s shopping bike at 5mph, upload your data to Digital EPO, select your desired speed and watch the KoMs tumble in.

However, an artefact of using Digital EPO is that it introduces spikes of speed into your data, and JP’s rides do not have these spikes. Cadence and heart rate data is also present, and both sets are as they should be for a fit rider doing those efforts. The presence of cadence and HRM information also dispells the theory that they are doing it in a car or on a moped.

Whether real (or retired) professional or digital doper, the mystery to the rider’s identity remains intact for now. Though, if real, we think that Sir David Brailsford would be interested in getting hold of their phone number…

Part of JP’s Box Hill ride showing segments ‘won’ by the rider

Related links

RideLondon riders smash up Surrey Strava segments

  • ??

    I am not familiar with the climb being discussed but on a purely numbers basis being able to hold 474 w for 10:00 minute on a climb is good but not super human or that ultra impressive! My son has only just come off junior gearing and his training peaks power profile shows better 10 minute figures than that discussed. My sons figures achieved on a climb avg 10.5% gradient and he is a reasonable climber but not spectacular. So why is bike doping etc being discussed as if the effort is super human.

  • BOSSMAN131

    I think its Durian Rider aka Harley Jonstone, he is either on his e-bike or gave up being a vegan and is eating some good beef that’s letting him lay down some big power

  • Jimm Pratt

    Not at all. A recumbent or velomobile rider with a really good spin technique can climb hills as good as an upright. We got some hills here in Denmark like Box Hill, and I know of two bent guys who regularly pass uprights on it. Remember they have seat backs to push against instead of only their own weight, the rider is low and mostly out of the turbulent air that wedgies riders experience, and several of the carbon-fiber recumbents are ridiculously light now-a-days. Plus If you go up Box Hill, you gotta come down it too, and *those* speeds will be greater than uprights, and shorten the KOM times significantly… or it’s a troll as previously considered.

  • Lee

    I highly suspect it’s a troll. Most likley using digitally altered data. Digital EPO is not the only way of altering ride data. Digital EPO uses a poor algorithm for altering data which leaves the tell-tale signs however by using better software to alter the data it is possible to produce altered data without the tell-tales. Another possibility is a rider using an electrically assisted bike. A rider on a power assist bike can still use a HRM and cadence meter and by carefully using a little help from the electric motor could produce a genuine looking ride.

  • Lee

    Recumbent on box hill?? you are having a laugh?

  • Dan Hernandez

    Just ride for myself.

  • 7ven

    Could be Hoogerland as he’s in London at the moment?

  • adam coppock

    He uses a picture of Lance and your actually debating if he did or did not cheat. Of cause he is cheating. Strava just needs to delete his rides.

  • Seb Ader

    Perhaps he “dopes” rides by downloading someone else’s Strava ride or his own for that matter, uploads it to a turbo/software system like Bkool; then ride the course changing turbo resistance to help achieve desired speed then convert the Bkool file back into a Strava compatible format and re upload? So all the correct parameters would be there but just stupidly quick!

  • DJH

    @Pete Foden

    “…just stick your Bryton or Garmin with all the relevant bits of kit, (cadence,heart rate) on your motorbike or moped…”

    And how would your HR/Cadence increase while sat on a moped?!!!

  • Stevie

    But Jack Pullar has already said that it isn’t him………

  • Andrew

    It’s a Madison Genesis rider called Jack Pullar. It’s definitely not a car/moped as there are cadence and BPM stats shown on the segments, but Jack is a well known hill climber, and I think you’ll find he’s also alluded to being in the Surrey area last weekend on his Twitter account @jack_pullar

  • Mike

    What a load of tosh, especially Boulder Elite. Big headed enough to be from there, but sadly just another troll.

  • Ken Evans

    With disputed rides breaking records, video evidence would settle the issue. As AX are such a rare brand, the company should know this owner. But it all seems more likely to be a wind-up.

  • Adam

    Did you know, they didn’t even use real dinosaurs for the ’20 year old’ film Jurassic Park!
    I’m sure that adding a bit of heart rate data etc to a ride on a motorised vehicle is not difficult – likewise fabricating the data for an entire ride is probably easy for someone who knows how and is sad enough to give a sh*t about Strava. Choose life!

  • David Rogers

    I think it’s Jonathan Parker (known to some as JP), He’s from Kent and is super quick.

  • MamilYG-UK

    I am hoping it is some secret star or talented person who just never went pro…. that’s my romantic notion but maybe it’s a decent cyclist on an electric bike. I saw a great one on the gadget show!

  • Boulder Elite

    Well, I am from Boulder, CO and Lance would likely associate himself with Aspen, not Boulder. Nonetheless, we live at altitude (1800+ meters) and ride with the world’s greatest. Everytime I go across the pond, I seem to average 60kph (still using meters) on all of your “hills.” Please bring your bike to Boulder and witness the two-wheeling gods.

  • Gerard Henry

    Alberto Contador recently came to the UK and did a few ascents of Box Hill…

  • Pete Foden

    Pretty easy to fake really,just stick your Bryton or Garmin with all the relevant bits of kit, (cadence,heart rate) on your motorbike or moped. Note there were no power readings for the ride. Just someone taking the urine and now sat there laughing his head off at all the hype and speculation.


  • Deej

    A moped with HRM and cadence? It certainly looks like it’s legit, purely from a data perspective.

  • Stevie Bell

    Detecting digitally doped files is trivial – this rider’s files do not appear to be doped. It’s even easier to detect rides recorded with a motorised vehicle. The heart rate data puts paid to that possibility.

  • Jason Jones

    I 1/2 agree with Paul. Only ever compare yourself against , a) yourself b) your wife …. there is nothing worse than being beaten by your wife 🙂

    But in all seriousness, this is just an example of how rubbish society has become, wait until someone comes up with a handy idea, then ruin it by being a ……er

  • Chris

    Data manipulation via Digital EPO is detectable. The tell-tale sign is in the speed graph in the Performance tab.

    A rider going flat out up a hill climb will likely have a continuous graph – speed starting very high, then gradually fading as the climb progresses. Or the rider targets a specific section to really power through, creating a spike…

    Digital EPO increases a rider speed by % desired… but – it does not reflect it across the whole ride… it spikes many times, making the effort look like a set of short intense out of saddle sprints for 5-10s then 5-10s pause.

    I’ve lost segments to some guys who were pumping 10kmph faster than me on flat… when I compared ride data, it was pretty clear that they were either targeting the segment with some crazy interval training technique, or electronic doping.
    A quick glance at their entire 100km ride, with the same crazy riding style was enough to convince me it was the latter and not humanly possible to perform 5-10s sprints @ 50-60kmph for a 3hrs ride.

  • Paul

    Dont be idiots this is clearly some clown on a moped.
    Only ever compare yourself against a)yourself or b) people you know (that aren’t cheats)

  • Graeme

    KOM – Bike ridden = Ford Fiesta

  • Geoff Powell

    We won’t have to wait long until someone flags the Box Hill segment as dangerous and wipes out all the times. Strava is a waste of space.

  • Greg Price

    JP = Juan Pelota?

  • mick lee

    its me, sorry guys I was just out riding and went for it. mick lee retired fireman.

  • Mike

    Oh lord, who cares? Strava sucks. I thought we all were in agreement about that in 2013?

    There is no way to verify what they are riding (motorbike?) or who they are…..so why bother even talking about it.