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Rush hour traffic, Houghton (Sunderland Echo, Daily Motion) We’ve got another football-cycling mashup for you on the live blog today (I’m having flashbacks to when…

Friday, Oct 21

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Rush hour traffic, Houghton (Sunderland Echo, Daily Motion) We’ve got another football-cycling mashup for you on the live blog today (I’m having flashbacks to when Tadej Pogačar visited Manchester City’s training ground), this time focusing on the upcoming not-at-all-controversial World Cup in Qatar. Reuters reports (link is external) that two France fans are cycling 6,500km from Paris to Doha for football’s quadrennial celebration of greed, excess and boring group stage matches – all in the name of sustainable transport.

Mehdi Balamissa, a documentary filmmaker, and TV producer Gabriel Martin came up with the idea of riding their bikes to Qatar after cycling the still-considerable journey to northern Italy for the 2021 UEFA Nations League Finals.

They set off from the Stade de France in Paris on 20 August and have so far clocked up 5,000km, covering 120km a day. They arrived in Jordan last week, and still have to cross Saudi Arabia before reaching Qatar, where World Cup will kick off in just under a month’s time (wow, that feels weird to write in October).

“With this trip we are able to promote sustainable mobility, another way of travelling and we can show people that with your legs it can give you so many adventures around your place or maybe further,” 26-year-old Balamissa told Reuters.

Not that the trip has been easy on the legs, Martin pointed out.

“The main challenge is to cover a huge distance. Sometimes it is flat but sometimes it is climbing a lot,” he said.

In any case, the two-wheeled […]

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