Paolo Barbon


Paolo is an Italian cyclist known for his long distance cycling events. He competes in mountain biking and loves races of up to 24 hours.

In 2016 Paolo placed second in 24 hour Barbano Vicentino and took third in the Bellaria Igea Marina, also a 24 hour event. In the following year he placed fifth at 24h Val Rendena and fifth at Bellaria Igea Marina. He also placed third in the six hour category of Valrendena in 2018.

Paolo turned vegan in 2004.

“I want to underline that my decision was an empathic and ethical choice” Paolo told Great Vegan Athletes.

“Empathy towards animals is something that I have always had in me since childhood. I think, however, that this applies to everyone. One day when it was latent, it exploded and I decided I would never eat animals again. I told my dad, that every year on my birthday he cooked a Florentine steak ‘…Dad, this is the last time you’ll see me eating meat …..’ and so it was.”

“Now my diet is totally vegan. If I find nothing vegan during a trip, I would rather avoid eating. But this is an eventuality that has never happened to me.”


Two wheel animal tours

Paolo has also been active with a group called ‘Bike for Animals’ which has toured Europe on two wheels to raise awareness of issues including animal testing, bullfighting, veganism and other issues. In 2016 he participated in a tour which visited fourteen towns in sixteen days, visiting regions in Spain, Italy and France.

Paolo trains around the hills of Turin, his home town, cycling on four or five days per week on the dirt paths. He also has a road bike and takes this over longer distances. He is self-trained without a strict training plan, and trains mostly solo, sometimes with friends he’s met through the sport.

All this training requires fuel.

“I am very greedy for fruit and vegetables” he says. “I really like mixed salads in which I put many ingredients.” He also has wholewheat pasta with traditional Italian sauces which he turns vegan. He loves to add soy sauce, basil pesto and vegan cheese. He also enjoys some vegan sweets. He’s also got plenty more races planned.

“I would like to race again the RAI (Race Across Italy) next year, and hoping for a better preparation, try a better placing than last April” says Paolo, referring to a 775 km race with 10,000 metres of height gain. “At the end of July [2018] I will race the 6 hours of Val Rendena and in September the 24 hours of Rome and Bellaria. I’m getting ready to try and get better results than last season!”

“In the days of 22nd to 24th of August I will finish a solo ride from Turin to Rome aimed at sensitizing people on the theme of veganism and the rights of non-human animals. Upon my arrival in Rome, an informative banquet will be held, in collaboration with the Animal Equality association.”   This has now been successfully completed and you can read about it here.

“And in 2019 the Bike for Animals anti-corrida tour will start again and it will be the fourth edition. These tours have no sporting features but only animal rights and activism for the rights of non-human animals.”

Bike for Animals

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