Valtteri Bottas Cycled 5,500 Miles To ‘Unwind’

Valtteri Bottas Cycled 5,500 Miles To ‘Unwind’

This year, Formula 1 will host 23 races in 20 countries around the world. The calendar is intense for teams and drivers as it packs in back-to-back races, long travel and countless time zones. To unwind during the “hectic” schedule, Alfa Romeo racer Valtteri Bottas has found solace in the saddle and spends hours riding his bike whenever he can.

Valtteri Bottas Gets Excited About The Las Vegas Grand Prix | Jalopnik Chats

The Finnish racing driver has been spotted out on his gravel bike countless times in recent years. He’s often spied riding the track ahead of a grand prix and has spent his spare time undertaking some wild races around the world.

“For me, it comes to the balance in things,” says Bottas when we caught up over Zoom ahead of the Las Vegas Grand Prix. “[Cycling] is a great tool to disconnect.”

This year alone, Bottas has covered more than 5,500 miles, and he’s spent a total of almost 14 days in the saddle. Along the way, he’s climbed more than 336,000 feet in elevation, according to data he uploads to Strava after every ride. Clearly, he has a lot of disconnecting to do in between races.

Bottas: biking everywhere. Photo: Ben Stansall / AFP (Getty Images)

“It’s a great tool for me to stay fit and to challenge myself,” he says. “I feel like it’s quite good for managing stress. Just to get out in nature and explore new places is quite enjoyable.”

On his bike, Bottas has explored places like Colorado, where he entered a grueling 100-mile gravel race earlier this year, and the hills around his home town of Lahti in Finland where he helped organize the Fnld Grvl race.

See also  2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T Returns to Delight Drivers Who Can't Afford a GT3 RS

Along the way, he’s often been supported and coached on his mammoth rides with the help of his partner and professional cyclist Tiffany Cromwell. The Australian pro rider won this year’s Unbound Gravel race in the U.S. and has taken on the formidable cobbles of Paris-Roubaix Femmes.

“Obviously it’s been her job for a long, long time. So she’s very strong on the bike, especially when the terrain becomes more hilly,” says Bottas.

“But it’s motivating and I’ve obviously got to know the sport a lot better than I did before. So that makes an extra interest for me.”

Bottas is contracted with Alfa Romeo until the end of 2024. As such, he says he isn’t planning on making the switch to two-wheels full-time any time soon.

A photo of Valtteri Bottas and Tiffany Cromwell riding bikes.

Tiffany Cromwell and Valtteri Bottas have been riding together since his Mercedes days. Photo: Bryn Lennon (Getty Images)

“During F1, the travel schedule is not easy to fit your mileage goals for over the year,” he says. “I still feel like in F1 I have quite a few more years. I still have goals in the sport, definitely, so the cycling part needs to wait a bit longer.”

As well as his full-time job as an F1 driver, Bottas works as brand ambassador for tech firm Hyland. The company, which provides management software for businesses, features on his race suite and the Alfa Romeo Formula 1 car.