The sun came out to send off 172 riders from across the built environment this morning as they set out for Cannes from London and Bari in Italy.
This was the Legal and General Club Peloton ride to the MIPIM conference in the southern French city taking place next week, when some 1500kms will have been completed by the former, and over two Everests' worth of climbing for the latter group.
Despite a couple of late pullouts from ride captains affected by injury and illness, two groups set off from Greenwich at 9am in the event, which has already raised some £260,000 for charities including Coram. The first London group is heading to northern France via Portsmouth and a ferry (155kms), with the other half of the 150 riders going via Folkestone and the tunnel.
At the first stop in Brands Hatch, new rider Danielle Krohn of LGIM Real Assets said she was getting used to riding in a big group. 'All the stopping and starting is really hard', she said. 'I'm having to accelerate all the time to catch up', she said.
Meanwhile over in Bari, Italy, Haptic Architects' Timo Haedrich reported that all 22 riders were present and correct on their own 1350km ride with 18,000m of climbing in six days, with an expected 22 degrees C of warmth in prospect. 'Some really nice food and wine', he said. 'Loving it'. There was a different dynamic to the main ride, Haedrich went on, and there was 'no panic, no rush, everybody in good spirits'.
Pics from the London end courtesy of photographer Matt Alexander