The Highland Trail 550 is an incredibly challenging 550 mile, self-navigated, self-supported mass start independent time trial that takes place annually within the Scottish Highlands. We get up close and personal with 2021 winner Liam Glen.
The Highland Trail 550 (HT550) is a route devised by Alan Goldsmith, an experienced rider in long-distance events, as a testing ground for an attempt at the Tour Divide in North America. For several years, the challenge has been running, and this year, the event attracted some of the best-known riders within the long-distance racing community, including Josh Ibbett and James Hayden, who are both previous Trans-Continental winners.
The weather is often a huge factor in Scotland, and 2021 was no different with almost every conceivable weather type set to test the field. Seemingly oblivious to the conditions, the pace at the front was furious with the previous winner and former full-time road cyclist Liam Glen taking charge.
Matt Page spoke to Liam after his dominant performance to get an in-depth look into his preparation, his unusual choice of bike, how he kept himself on track and fed in the desolate area of the far north Scottish Highlands. Liam talks through the high and low points along the route and offers advice to anyone who might be inspired to head out bikepacking or start such an event.
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