Chasing Cancellara: How a 310km ride from Bern to Zermatt really tested me

Author Tom Wieckowski riding Chasing Cancellara
(Image credit: Chasing Cancellara)

Lightning broke the mountain-filled darkening sky and thunder boomed as I headed towards the 265km checkpoint of Chasing Cancellara; Bern to Zermatt. As the first drops of rain began to fall, I couldn't help but nervously think to myself: "You just might be in trouble here." 

I was asked earlier in the year if I'd like to go and ride the Chasing Cancellara sportive for Cyclingnews and I jumped at the chance. A few months on I'd arrived in Switzerland and was about to take on the challenge. I'd rolled out from the ride start in Bern hours earlier at 2:18 AM. Yep, Chasing Cancellara starts at 2 AM, and I'd been on the road for almost 12 hours as the heavens began to open. 

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Tom Wieckowski
Tech writer

Tom joined the Cyclingnews team in late 2022 as tech writer. Tom has over 10 years experience as a qualified mechanic with 5 or so of those being spent running an independent workshop. Tom has ridden and raced bikes from an early age up to a national level on the road and track and has ridden and competed in most disciplines, even the odd bit of bike polo. Tom is as happy tinkering away in the garage as he is out on the road bike exploring the Worcestershire lanes.