Inside the Great Tour: One lap of the island

Amid the coronavirus pandemic Hugh Roberts set out to ride around the whole of the UK mainland and recounts to James Shrubsall how he got on


Cold beer and sun loungers are likely to rank quite a lot higher than howling gales and days of incessant rain in the memories of many Brits during a locked-down summer that broke records for good weather left, right and centre.

But spare a thought for Hugh Roberts, owner and founder of Tour of Britain organiser Sweetspot and his old friend Robin Young — they cycled around the entire coast of Britain on Tour of Britain organiser Sweetspot's Great Tour charity ride, and returned with tales of lashing rain, battering winds, sun cream packed in hope but going redundant for weeks at a time. And that’s before we get to the broken bones.

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After cutting his teeth on local and national newspapers, James began at Cycling Weekly as a sub-editor in 2000 when the current office was literally all fields. 

Eventually becoming chief sub-editor, in 2016 he switched to the job of full-time writer, and covers news, racing and features.

A lifelong cyclist and cycling fan, James's racing days (and most of his fitness) are now behind him. But he still rides regularly, both on the road and on the gravelly stuff.