Video documentary reveals the struggle behind riding the Tour de France 2021 route solo in just 10 days

Australian ultra-cyclist Jack Thompson took on a superhuman challenge during this year’s Tour

Jack Thompson after reaching Paris
(Image credit: Wahoo )

A new video documentary has revealed the remarkable achievement of Australian ultra-cyclist Jack Thompson. 

This summer, Thompson made a superhuman effort to ride the entire route of the 2021 Tour de France in just 10 days, while attempting to beat the peloton to Paris during the race.

After three years of planning, Thompson took on the ride-of-a-lifetime during this year’s Tour, as he aimed to tackle the entire 3,500km route solo.

Setting off from Brest in Brittany on Monday, July 5, Thompson gave the Tour peloton 10-day head start, before he set off in pursuit of the best riders in the world. 

Dubbed The Amazing Chase (presented by Wahoo), Thompson’s latest challenge was his toughest yet, having previously completed three Everest challenges in three consecutive days, and setting a world record of riding 3,505km in one week. 

After successfully completing the remarkable ride, Thompson said: “Being on the Champs-Élysées, in the middle of Paris, I didn’t want that to end. I had got to the final and I was just thinking, ‘this has been so much fun, this is why I originally started cycling because I love this’. It hasn’t really sunk in yet. It’s been a three-year goal and it’s finally happened. It’s special.” 

In a new documentary, available on YouTube, you can gain an insight into the 3,552km ride, which covered 52,002m of altitude gain, and took Thompson more than 127 hours to complete.

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The 30-minute film reveals all the struggles Thompson faced on his ride, the highs of completing a near-superhuman ride, but also the former lifestyle that inspired him to strive for greatness.  

Thompson rode each stage of the 2021 Tour, from the mountains to the time trial, riding around 14 hours per day, and then transferring between each stage in a bus. 

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.