23nd July 2017
Having worked up to and successfully completed the London Revolution earlier this year I've been on the lookout for a challenge for 2018. I had toyed with the idea of doing the London Revolution again but with so many different events and challenges out there I started to look elsewhere.
I'd love to do the Lands End to John O'Groats ride but I don't think I'm ready for that just yet. One for the bucket list though. I also quite fancy doing something abroad and there is a multitude of well known climbs to be attempted in the Alps, but again, I'm not sure my climbing prowess is at that standard. There's plenty of organised London to Paris rides to choose from, and indeed, I was booked on one this year before it got postponed to dates I couldn't do, but nothing really stood out.
Unaware of my search, my wife Emma, sent me a link on Facebook and joked that she had found my next challenge. The link was to the Grand Depart Classic in aid of Prostate Cancer UK, where you ride the first stage of the Tour de France a week before the pros kick off the 105th Tour in 2018. I chuckled at the idea but had a look anyway. It's a 195km stage from Noirmoutier en L'ile to Fontenay-le-Comte, that's nearly 125 miles in proper english units. It is deemed a flat stage by the pros, I think they have a skewed opinion as to what is flat, with the main challenge expected be the wind as it is mainly a coastal route. I live near the coast and know how relentless it can be slogging away into wind.
So here's hoping for a nice North Westerly on June 23rd 2018 as in a fit of enthusiasm I seem to have signed up for the event. Thanks Em!