Soccer from Paris to Doha: Two fans show their love for France with a long bike ride

(Reuters) – Two keen French soccer fans cycle all the way from Paris to Doha to cheer on the defending champions at the World Cup in Qatar, which starts next month.

Mehdi Balamissa, a documentary film maker, and Gabriel Martin, a TV producer, left the Stade de France on August 20 and traveled around 5,000 km on their bikes.

The duo had the idea while cycling to Italy for a Nations League game last year and are now hoping to complete their long journey ahead of France’s opener against Australia on November 22.

“With this trip, we’re able to promote sustainable mobility, a different way of traveling, and we can show people that using your legs can bring you so many adventures close to you or maybe beyond,” she said 26-year-old Balamissa told Reuters.

The cyclists, who cover 120km a day, arrived in Jordan this week and will next cross Saudi Arabia before reaching Doha.

Martin said that tackling various terrains on the three-month trip was a daunting task.

“The biggest challenge is to cover a huge distance. Sometimes it’s flat, but sometimes it’s very uphill,” he told Reuters.

France, drawn in Group D, also meet Denmark and Tunisia.

“Gabriel and I, we wouldn’t be on our bikes in Jordan right now if we didn’t think France would become world champions,” added Balamissa.