Inspired by their love of cycling and history, Sam Wood, an archaeologist and avid cyclist, together with his brothers Danny and Ben, approached the BBC with an idea to create a documentary about the Carthaginian General, Hannibal. Known for his extraordinary trek in 218 BC from Spain, through Fance, climbing the peaks of the Alps to eventually invade Rome, with a 100,000 strong army, including 39 elephants!!
To their surprise the BBC backed the idea and commissioned “On Hannibal’s Trail” which is presently being shown on BBC 2.
The success of the documentary – more than a million viewers per episode – has given Sam confidence that it will be shown in Australia in the near future. “The BBC and a global distributor are in the final stages of an agreement that will hopefully allow the documentary to get home to Australia very soon,” says Sam.
Encouraged by this success, Sam partnered with Ride and Seek Bike Tours to provide cyclists and tourists alike the opportunity to traverse the very same course.
The Hannibal Tour now offers a three stage trip or for the hardy, one epic twenty-six day, 2400km undertaking!
Stage 1: Starts in the beautiful city of Barcelona and after nine days of cycling through idyllic Southern France, concludes in the former Papal city of Avignon.
Stage 2: Leaving Avignon, this nine day stage, navigates over the Alps to Gavi in the enchanting Italian region of Piedmont.
Stage 3: The final stage winds down to finish in Rome, having swept through Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio over ten days
Sam says, "The idea is that the Ride and Seek tours go hand in hand with the documentary work we are doing. We have also been in talks with various producers about making a program that follows the route of Napoleon on his failed Russian conquest in 1812 for the 200 year anniversary. Not only do we think this will make for great TV but we also think that a Paris to Moscow bike tour would appeal to adventurous cyclists around the world"
Have a look at the below video to see a sneak peak of the trail and the Wood Brother's in action.
For more information on taking part in a Hannibal Tour click here