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Take someone who cycles fast, very fast. Take the number off his back and the UCI rankings and put overflowing bags on his bike and handlebars, and give him 1000 kilometres to ride all in one go. There you have the summary of Mattia De Marchi. Speed and endurance, competitive and carefree, fun and professionalism. A constant ambivalence.

Mattia is the guy who in one season covers 40,000 km and 450,000 m D+, 1300 hours in the saddle and a lake of sweat left on the road. Mattia has cycling in his blood and knows how to transmit his passion to all those who cross his path and are lucky enough - or have the legs - to pedal a few kilometres alongside him. A man with a visionary outlook and a concrete head, he knows how to carry out his ambitious projects, making himself well-liked by everyone and proving day after day that there is nothing more satisfying than living in the pursuit of one's passions.

After a start in football, like most Italian kids, Mattia discovered cycling at the age of 9 and has never stopped pedalling since.
"What drove me to cycling was the fantastic image of my older cousins, who at Christmas lunch in 1999 were whizzing around on their little bicycles with helmets and overalls in the brightest colours, power rangers style. I immediately realised that that was the path I should also take. No, not that of the Power Ranger, that of the cyclist.

Mattia De Marchi tried to be a cyclist for real, the Pro. Complete with a stage win at the Tour of China in an Androni giocattoli uniform in 2016.

"They were two years full of satisfaction and disappointments, including a broken collarbone 30 days after my first victory in an international competition, and the unexpected call from Androni for an internship, the success as a trainee, the call for a contract that never arrived, the thought of giving it all up, a new adventure in a continental team in Austria, a 2017 spent between planes and night trains to be able to go to the races. A mix of emotions, joys and moments of discouragement, a dream that didn't come true, but which gave me the opportunity to plan another one'.

Mattia's dream of making cycling his job does not come true. Dark moments in which the bike becomes almost more of an enemy than a companion. Then, in the distance, a light. An invitation to an endurance race, the Ultracycling Dolomitica (675 km, 16,000 vertical metres, 16 Dolomite passes). And Mattia gets back in the saddle to try this new long-distance experience.

"I started going out at all hours of the day, discovering the fascination of cycling at night, taking different routes all the time and that's when I really realised how exciting cycling can be.

One kilometre leads to another and Mattia is immediately at ease on the very long distances, he wins that famous Dolomite race and then starts to take a liking to it. He switched to dirt and Gravel.
He began participating in events such as theAtlas Mountain Race in Morocco: a self-sufficient race across the Atlas Mountains, with a course of over 1200 kilometres. Self-sufficiency means that you have to carry everything you need. And where else, if not in bikepacking bags that allow you to carry everything you need, organised in a functional, dry, and - why not? - also aesthetically cool. Because for Mattia, cycling is also aesthetic.

Also. As it is also ignorant, also extreme, and also relaxing. Like at Jeroboam 2021, where instead of racing, he loaded his bike with delicacies and a grill to go and create a refreshment party along the route, to party with his friends from the Enough collective who were busy pedalling the 300 km of the Brescia course.

For Mattia there are few things that really matter: friends, the bike, a bivouac to drink mulled wine after many kilometres in the saddle and... the SuperAttack.

"I couldn't do without the Attack. It repairs tyres, attaches things and even heals wounds."

Mattia De Marchi is a friend of Miss Grape for this very reason, because for him there is no reason NOT to go cycling. Every occasion, every mood is a good excuse or motivation to get on the bike and ride a few kilometres, which in his case can be more than 'a few'. That's why his 3T Exploro is always mounted with loaded Miss Grape panniers. Maybe you go out for a ride starting out and find yourself drinking a pivo.

"I see my future with my bike full of bikepacking bags, like a camper van to travel around the world. My main goal is to inspire more and more people to use a bike, always. Whether it's for travelling, for going to work or for a simple jaunt to the park. In Italy, unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly difficult and dangerous to cycle on the road. I sincerely hope that this situation improves and we start to take a cue from some countries not too far away from us that give a lot of incentive to use bicycles'.

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Miss Grape | Bikepacking Bags

Bikepacking bags - handmade in Italy