We’ve waited enough! After USA borders rejected us and we weren’t able to participate in the Unbound Gravel (yes we were supposed to be there), after the TCR was cancelled and after the Atlas Mountain Race has been postponed to 2022… it’s finally time to take part in an international event as we like it!

Badlands is a race we have been waiting for a long time. For those who don’t know, the starting line is in Granada and the race crosses the one and only European desert. Here are some pics of those places. Please give it an eye by yourself that further explanations would be pointless.

750 km and 15K D+. Quite enough.

For those who didn’t know even this, Badlands is in its second edition. In the 2020 edition, the first one, Lachlan Morton won in 43 hours and some. All the other participants made it to the finish line in at least 60 hours. 

This year the course is not exactly the same but it’s not too far different from that one. We leave you guessing how tough the track is and how slow you’ll see our dots moving on the map.

No need to say who will be the one in the solo category. After the Italy Divide Mattia is ready for another off-road adventure with style. The improbabile pair is composed by Asja and Fede Damiani: her being at the first experience of this kind, him still wasted from the North Cape promenade.

We asked them to write how they’re getting ready and how they intend to tackle the Spanish gravel. Here’s what they had to say about it.


“Well, there is not much to say! Finally back to Spain, which is for me a country fairly unknown on the cycling side but also the one which gave me a good satisfaction with The Traka early this year.

Finally back to a fun event after this Covid caused a lot of events I had planned to be cancelled or postponed: Unbound, TCR, Atlas.

That’s a format I like a lot and I can’t wait to start. With 750 km and 15D+ I plan to stay out one night only, that’s why I’m going for a light and fast setup.

After my experience at the Italy Divide, I’m definitely not starting without a backpack with a 2lt capacity for water – and I’m filling it up with food too. Talking bags, I’ll use a Cluster 7 for the things I’m using less, such as my down jacket. My Internode two Buds will do for everything I need to be handy and for some more food too. That’s never enough!

I’m risking something on gearing, going for a 40 x 44-10. For my tires, I’ll choose Pirelli Cinturato Gravel M, 40mm.

Not many expectations actually. Just push hard and go flat out: it’s gonna be quite a fight!”


“I’ve already inside me a mix of feeling rising: adrenaline, anxiety, happiness, fear, enthusiasm.
A bunch of strong sensations who will push me for sure to the finish line. It won’t be easy, I know that already: I’m not physically ready to ride for 750 km and 15K D+ but I think nobody really is. What really matters is being focused and really want to push your limits to make it. When I fix an objective in my mind I’m really hardheaded, so I’m sure it will be fun.

Moreover I have a great partner, Fede Damiani is guaranteed to be the best for the job: a man who made it to Cape North by bike can’t be nothing but ready for anything, so half of the trip is done.

I’m so excited for the places we will see. I keep watching every day pictures of it and I can’t wait to be there! Thinking about riding my 3T there is thrilling and if I’d keep thinking about it I’ll start crying already. Now it’s just time to pedal and have fun… which is more than enough!!

Fede D

Should I say I’m ready? I just came back quite exhausted from the North Cape 40000 and I didn’t train much. I’ve definitely been more at the pub than on a bike lately. I needed to recover – so no, I’m not ready at all!

Everything is still on the floor and my bike needs a good checkup too. Very far from being ready. I studied the route nevertheless and made some plans for both our pair and Mattia too. That’s something I enjoy doing so much.

I can’t wait to go back to something like that, since my last time in an off-road pair competition was at Atlas Mountain Race. And this time it’s quite a pair. I’m so looking forward to riding with Asja because I know how you feel as a rookie in such experiences. That’s a lot of anxiety involved and having someone to share it with might be helpful, somehow. In this case it won’t of course, considering that I’m the other end of the pair. But please, don’t say it to Asja.

Let’s see how it unfolds. Cosidering my condition, we will probably be riding in “turism mode” and enjoy the route as much as we can.

Setup? It’s a “short” event, we go for a light one. Cluster 7 with a down jacket for the night and emergency bivy, frame and bud for food and all the rest. I’ll have a backpack too for water – it’s an experiment that I want to try.”

So we ready! What about the others? Keep an eye on the same old folks: Ulrich Bartolomoes and Sofiane Sehili on top of the list. Some friend like Bruno and many more, included a youngster who won a pair of Olympics Games like Allistar Brownlee. We won’t stress too much about this, there is no point. What really matters, as always, is giving the most and don’t look too much about all the rest.

See you in Spain!