This is a rare occasion where a challenge dreamed-up in a pub becomes a reality.... on 3rd May 2015. Over two years ago, Duncan and Richard laid down the embryonic plans for riding unsupported to Bordeaux, combining our mutual love of wine, cycling and smooth, well maintained roads. The idea developed, more people joined-up and we gained heightened awareness of The Fountain Centre and the incredible work they do.
The twelve fine fellows, in the prime of their lives, taking part are;
James Benning, Dominic Bull, Oli Else, Darren Gadsby, Neil Hilton, David Long, Dominic O'Neill, David Payne, Duncan Pike, Richard Price, Andrew Sanders, Matt Smart
We will be cycling 405 miles / 650km unsupported from Guildford to Bordeaux over 6 gruelling days, leaving on 3rd May, 2015 and arriving on 8th May.
Day 1- Guildford - Portsmouth: A lunchtime departure from The Fountain Centre at Royal Surrey County Hospital, via a BBQ reception in Wormley, 50 miles over the South Downs and down to the ferry terminal before catching the overnight boat to St. Malo.
Day2 - St. Malo - Vitre: Off the boat and straight to Combourg where David L will join the peloton after an epic overnight triathlon by road, sea and rail to catch us up. 115km in total to our first overnight stop in France at Vitre.
Day 3 - Vitre - Cholet: The first of three 140km days takes us through the Loire Valley to Cholet. We will be starting to smell quite badly by the time we hit Cholet.
Day 4 - Cholet - St. Jean D'Angely: Another 140km through The Vendee to an overnight stop in a monastery. Might have to wash the bib shorts here.
Day 5 - St. Jean D'Angely - Pauillac: A long day of 140km through Charente-Maritime and across the Gironde to ride past some of the iconic chateaux of the Medoc region.
Day 6 - Pauillac - Bordeaux: The final 50km via Chateau Margaux into Bordeaux to be greeted by the WAGs who will have endured EasyJet and several days of shopping in Bordeaux to get to the finish line.
In seriousness, this trip is unsupported (we have to carry all our clothes and equipment on the bike), we have not had any professional help (with regards to the ride at least), we have plotted our own route and have arranged all the training and logistics ourselves.
We all have varying experience in the saddle; we have seasoned cyclists, "rested cyclists" and some of us have started from scratch for the trip but it will be the biggest challenge any of us have ever taken on. This is not a holiday. Remember, we are also having to endure 6 days on a razor sharp saddle away from our partners, kids, pets and work. It's gonna be tough.
Our sincere thanks to the following generous supporters;
- The marketing bods at Hiscox (well known premium insurer) for providing the very smart jerseys
- The alchemic Kay at Coffee Charisma Unplugged (Surrey's best coffee, based at Farncombe Station - http://www.coffeecharisma.co.uk) for sorting our T-shirts
- Tara Sheffield and Lucie Radford at MEC Global for the T-shirt and logo design
- Deano from Airline Components International (ACI)
- Joe from Aspen Homes
- The Fountain Centre for assisting in our fund raising efforts and allowing some of the (c)hunkier peloton members participate in their annual fashion show.
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