This weekend was the Launch of the World Cycle Race 2014 from Marble Arch in London. Organised by the Adventurists, with whom I co-organised the Transcontinental Race last year, this time they are taking full reigns. I was involved in some of the planning up untl the middle of last year but I have my hands full with the Transcontinental now so I was just there as a flag waver / interview monkey to see how it off and add some advice and thoughts to the noise in their heads before they took to the road.
The pre-launch afternoon tea party at Brooks’ B1866 flagship store on Friday was grand. The riders and myself were all interviewed and we all had Hendricks Gin served out of Tea Pots and cakes on the side. Magic. I also got to see the new Pedaled Store which had ‘popped up’ next door and was due to open in Saturday – this is a temporary thing to show off their new range and will be open until the summer.
Then I had the pleasure of meeting a few of this year’s Transcontinental Riders at the National Cafe where we enjoyed more drinks and race tactic chat. On the Saturday morning a band of riders assembled at Marble Arch, including TCR winner Kristof who had ridden over from Belgium specially and also runner up Richard Dunnett. The ride to Greenwhich was steady and eclectic, and a bit chilly as we were frequently stopping for lights and whatnot, but we delivered the riders to Greenwich for a start just after noon and the riders left about 12:20, after which riders and adventurists moved on to the Cutty Sark for a few pints in the (sort of) Sun.
So, its 48hrs on the race clock now, how are they all getting on?
Is in France and making good progress south towards Amiens. She got done at around 7:30pm last night and struck camp near Frevet, resuming at just before 8am this morning. A decent stop for the only Female and only unsupported rider in the race, so she will have got a good feed and plenty of rest no doubt.
Lee is a way South of Paris now in La Bussiere. His aim for today is 250 miles. He was aiming for 240 yesterday to get him to Nevers but headwinds and a late finish on day one have put him behind plan and he is still a way from there now. He did want to get to Amiens on the first night and didn’t make it until 6am in the morning, which he attributes to a few technical issues and a forgotted passport for his support driver. Lee got his head down for just an hour in the North of Amiens according to this morning’s tweets, though his tracker reported his position there at 05:40 am and 10:13 pm meaning a decent amount of time stationary. Perhaps he was restless on his first stop. So far Lee has covered the most ground of all the riders, approximately 500km according to estimates from hist tracking points.
Breifne is in Belgium, just outside Brussels and looks to have become disorientated coming out of the city, corrected and re-corrected and now headed towards Luxembourg. Breifne has reported a few punctures already as well as finding cobbled near Roubaix and a carnival which prevented him getting to Brussels last night but he appears to be enjoying the Belgian cycling experience immensely. Hecalled it a night at Aalst last night at s appeared to have turned in early last night