Meet the 2015 Cast – ‘We were all we could be..!’

It’s Sunday morning, the day after the finish. I didn’t sleep well at all, thoughts were buzzing around my head about the last 3 weeks. The lead up, my fundraising activities, the messages of support. What an unbelievable journey. It was amazing riding into Paris, up to the Arc de Triomphe, around one of the busiest roundabouts in the world, then down and back up the Champs d’Elysee. Our supporters and families were there cheering as were the tourists joing the many Parisians by the side of the avenue. 



We eventually came to a stop outside the hotel, bikes were dismounted and handed back, all except one. I didn’t want to get off mine! Proud to have made it round le hexagon of France but slightly sad it was over after the months of build up. 

The girls gave me their first embrace in just over 3 weeks, I wanted to hug them forever. The bike was then forgotten. 

   
  


Images by Joolze Dymond 

 

  

 

The Cast –

Doug, a true gent from the start. Everyone loves ‘Dougie two slice’. It was great to get to know you before the tour in Mojacar and Aspen, indebted to you mate.

Ciaran, who just stronger as the days went by. You love your cycling and it clearly showed, great to get to know you.

Dom, aka Dom Perignon. What a team player, boundless enthusiasm and energy. Anyone who can run for 75 miles straight knows about endurance.

James, I loved you from the start my vegan friend. Singing obscure album tracks on the roll outs, laughing till it hurt about nonsense. Will miss hearing about goji berries and their benefits😘

Mel, ‘Melly b’ the brand, Dynamo, the swan, Thanks for bringing out the best in me, you kept me riding ‘some honest efforts’. It was a pleasure to climb with you even if we did make our legs hurt up the big uns – Allos, Tourmalet, Aspin, Glandon, col du Soudet, plateau de Beille, Croix de fer, we were there. As for the Alp d’huez I will have to wait until next time 👍🚴

Chef Simon, the consummate pro. Endless banter, we shared some great blasts on the front together, then you would tell me just how hard you went with your daily power data. 😉

Stephen, a motivation to the team. A man that got on with the task at hand, not a natural cyclist but his commitment and tenacity was unwavering, I doff my cap Sir.

Trevor, an awesome descender. In 25 years of cycling never seen anyone go downhill so naturally, and so fast.

Helen, even after a crash on day 1 and a nasty 10 stitches injury, you stuck to the task, well done.

Lastly, but never last – Skip. What can I say that hasn’t already. GT you is the man, the Capt! The one that brought us together, £650k raised to date on this mission, an inspiration to us all. 

Add me into the above and that’s eleven of us riders as that you already know.


It’s the back room team behind the scenes that deserves a lot of the credit for keeping us going and going… Without them we couldn’t function in what was a massive physical and logistical challenge.

 

The bikes, huge thanks to Mark Letters from Banjo cycles who loaned us excellent Specialized Machines

Bob and Jim our tireless mechanics who with the help of ‘Purple Harry’ kept the bikes pristine, we rolled on Conti 25mm 4000S which I have got to say were excellent, 38,000km and only 3 team punctures on normal roads, 2 on cobbles.

  

Our top photographers Joolze and Westie who were joined by Liz Kreutz on the Lance days, whose great images captured the emotion, miles of beautiful scenery and the pain and suffering.

Paul Brown, the photographers’ motoman. We met at L2P, your humour and banter is second to none, thoughts turn to you standing in a field of sunflowers playing a musical instrument which you fashioned out of bits found on the floor. 

Sarah, Deano, Damian and Paul are quality  physios who put our aching muscles back in place after long days in the saddle, listened to our groans and worries on the massage table and made us generally greasy! They also spent endless miles behind us in the convoy topping us up with food and drink.  

Doctor Dale, a 3 rider crash on day one saw him have to jump to action straight away. A dab hand with a needle and thread which I am sure Mel, Helen and James who came off a few days later can confirm. He had something for everything and everyone (apart from the cortisone, testosterone patches and spare bags of blood I asked for!). Dale even administered a saline drip to Stephen after 8hrs riding in 42c heat. 

Simmo, was our hard working, PR and comms man. Great for morale, however loved periscope just a little bit too much for Geoff !


‘Le French team’

Alain the director, his brilliant daughter Julie the ‘fixer’ 

Bruno ‘twooo minutes..!’ and his ever patient wife Lawrence in the lead car, racing down the stunning decent of the Aspin on his bumper was thrilling. 

  


The moto’s Frederic and his crew -kept the road clear for us, applauded and encouraged us up the mountains. Being led down the Tourmalet full gas behind Freddy was an exhilarating once in a lifetime experience.

  

Big Ben, hail to the bus driver! No job too small for Ben. Largest feet in the world, his crocs could smuggle several immigrants across the border.

Carol, the team’s Mum on the road. Thoughtful and enthusiastic alongside Ben but th took care of the team’s endless washing. Shopped for food and post ride snacks, had the sun cream readily available and the coca colas not far behind, we thank you. 


Finally – Dan Solley & Paul ‘Morts’ Morton who orchestrated it all, chapeau fellas, same again next year! 


We have rode 3300km, the support team have driven over 8000km, that’s an impressive stat In itself. 

It will no doubt take me a while to adjust back to a normal work week, I am gonna miss that bike for sure! 

 

Image by David West

Thanks for following us and your support, see you on the road

Hx   

  

 

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~ by theboxterboy on July 26, 2015.

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