Spotted on Strava: Grand Tours, Epic Runs... and a Donkey


World Donkey Day by Anthony Hoyte

From the start of one Grand Tour to the finish of another, by way of a running year with a twist, and a donkey, there was plenty to watch out for on Strava this week.

We couldn't have teed up the start of the Giro any better than Tadej Pogacar himself - the UAE Team Emirates rider set the stage for the 2024 Giro d'Italia with a little bit of fighting talk. Pogacar, already in Pink on Stage 3, may be the overwhelming favorite for the title but there's a long way to go and plenty of stages up for grabs (as Tim Merlier showed on Day 3).

While the Giro was kicking off in Italy, another Grand Tour was wrapping up in a different part of Europe. And once again the favorite going into the race, Demi Vollering, took the GC with a commanding win over eight grueling stages. The Dutchwoman had opened up a 52-second gap on the field going into the final stage, and an attack 6km out sealed the win. Riejanne Markus was second overall (+1:49), and Elisa Longo Borghini third (+2:00).

From two wheels to two feet, and some equally impressive performances going on all over the world. In Pittsburgh, Andrew Bowman and Jane Bareikis took the overall wins in the Pittsburgh Marathon. Back over in Europe, the Copenhagen marathon saw some similarly impressive performances, like this one from Ben Felton. Looking to the mountains, Kilian Jornet got some race prep in that was, needless, to say, hilly, Hillary Gerardi was competing in SkyRace des Matheysins, and Finlay Wild set a new FKT for the Cuillin Round on the Isle of Skye.

Staying with running, one person who should have been putting his feet up this weekend but wasn't is Mark Dowdle. As we reported last week, Mark completed the unique challenge of having spent a year running the same mileage as the date (e.g. on the first day of every month he ran one mile, on the second day he ran two, on the third he ran three etc.). Mark covered 6,400 miles / 10,300km over the course of the year, and just a few days later went on to win the WausaUltra Limitless, running 139 miles / 224km over 33 hours on a 4.167 mile / 6.7km loop.

And, finally, did you know about World Donkey Day? Us neither. But there is a Day - it's officially May 8 in case you have a donkey you want to celebrate it with. One person who wanted to make sure World Donkey Day didn't go unnoticed is Anthony Hoyte, who drew this incredibly impressive ass while cycling the streets of London.

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