Two Crazy French Cyclists ride over 4,300 miles to watch Soccer World Cup
Two French cycling soccer fans travelled to watch their team play at the World Cup in Qatar, and took a little longer than usual!
Mehdi Balamissa and Gabriel Martin decided to travel from France to Qatar by bike.
They spent three months traveling 4,350 miles by bike to reach Qatar and watch their beloved French team defend their title.
“It was a crazy idea, but we’re the kind of people that have big ideas and don’t want to have any regrets,” Balamissa said, "since we are both self-employed, we decided to take three months off and cycle to Qatar.”
The friends started their incredible jouney from Stade de France in Paris, home of the French national team, and finished at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar, where the World Cup final will be held.
The pair cycled around 70 miles per day, promoting the benefits of sustainable travel and said they plan to offer cycling workshops to children from disadvantaged backgrounds, when they get back to France.
The cycling and football fans had already ridden from France to Italy last year to watch the French team play in the UEFA Nations League.
Their incredible journey took them south east through Europe to Turkey, then across Cyprus, Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia before reaching their destination.
Their hard efforts paid off!!!
On the final day cycling into the Qatari capital Doha, they were joined by a small group of French expats and local cyclists including the French ambassador to Qatar who heard about their incredible journey.
After 3 months cycling through 13 countries, the French Football Federation (FFF) invited the pair to meet the team and provided tickets for all three of its group games.
France manager Didier Deschamps also presented each of them with a national jersey signed by the players.
So far the French team won their first two games and qualified for the second round.
“We’re staying until the final because France is going to win, of course,” Martin joked, “We wouldn’t have come on our bikes otherwise.”
You can follow the pair and their incredible journey on Instagram.