Cycle to Cannes MIPIM 2015 completed! What an adventure!
I’ve done it! I completed the 1.500km charity cycle ride to Cannes; massive thanks to everyone’s help with donations, training, products, support, and motivation. The harsh winters training paid off with a terrific 6 days riding in sunshine with amazing roads, some good luck, and brilliant comradery. I had no preconceived notion to do all the stage other than to see how things went. However a third of the way through I realised how tremendous it would be to get to the coast after leaving my doorstep in London.
It was a though 6 days that needed a strong will, mental alertness and more food than I would have thought possible to consume. All made possible by a brilliant support team and fabulous support from fellow riders and ride captains.
A brief synopsis of the days;
Note the course and routing can be found on my Strava profile.
Day 1; Nice start in the UK out of London and down to the ferry. Sunny with lots of chat and a fab stop in Leeds Castle (Kent). Great to see everyone come together in one big group. The support bus with all its logos looked the part.
Day 2; Super early start and super long day in the saddle 6am – 8.45pm riding. Rolling roads of Northern France. Awesome dessert at lunch. I’m finding the speed of turn around between stages hectic; Stop, toilet, coffee, eat, drink, adjust clothing Go (punctuated with a whistle). Knackered and can’t imagine repeating that distance. Pitch black riding into the hotel fired up the adrenalin.
Day 3; Start out of Reims with a cracking sunrise over the vineyards of Champagne. Some petrifying fog and seriously low temperatures. Water bottles frozen and so close to calling it a day as the cold seemed to permeate my mind and ex entire my fatigue. Pushed on and weather improved on the following stages. Some great descending and another hair raising night ride to the hotel in Dijon. Having the motorcycle outriders keeping the traffic islands clear made for some fast turning. At the end of this day I’ve now made my mind up to try and complete every stage. One more long distance day fingers crossed tomorrow goes well.
Day 4; Dijon to Valence 300km. Long long long. Cakes from Carol of the support team sorted out my doldrums. Fab sunshine and testing hills later in the day. So little time in the evenings to do anything other than eat. Organising your gear the night before seems to be the key in the mornings.
Day 5; actually looking forward to this day, less distance and more hills- my favourite. Great climbs with fab views and monster descents! Witnessed a road bike with disc brakes lock up into a fast right hander. Rider ok but some nasty road rash.
Day 6; Aix en Provence to Cannes. More climbing and descending. Such a wonderful sunny day with amazing roads and scenery to take in. Disaster! Di2 battery flat so got stuck in outer ring on front -things got interesting. I actually listened to some who said I wouldn’t need to charge it for the whole trip! Stuck a mobile phone back-up battery charger into the charging port to give it some juice at the rest point and carved enough to get me to Cannes.
The ceremonial ride into Cannes was great. Especially to see the harbour and yachts after riding across France. Thank you to all the welcoming party who cheered us in.
Off the bike and I literally couldn’t talk. Overwhelmed! Beer, chips and burgers thank you Savills. Rest time.
The participants and supporters on this trip were all awesome. Given the levels of fatigue it was an immense effort to keep everyone going and in such great spirits.
A whopping £250,000 total sponsorship raised from Cycle to Cannes 2015 and over £2 million in the 10 years of the event running, amazing!