The intrepid charity riders are halfway there on their odyssey from London and Bari to Cannes in time for the MIPIM property festival next week. This, dear readers, is the Legal and General-sponsored Club Peloton ride to the French Riviera, raising money for Coram.
Velocity co-founder Toby Fox takes up the story:
'Day three was the “transition stage”, riding through Champagne in the morning, then starting some proper climbing to get to Dijon by evening. Unfortunately we were riding with 25mph winds from the front or side the whole morning, across exposed, flat and rolling treeless vineyard country. Battered, with stronger riders trying to shield the others, we had to push hard downhill to get a speed that would have been moderate on the flat. And then it rained. And rained and rained. One rider summed it up: “My mind was just full of rage at how unfair it was.”
The sun came out in the afternoon though, as we left Essoyes and the afternoon was lovely. But the hard morning had worn a lot of riders down. There had been one crash early on, and by late afternoon there was another plus some tears and emotional implosions. It’s a pretty dramatic trip sometimes. Why do we do it?
Peter German of law firm Carey Olsen said it was for his best friend who suffers from cystic fibrosis: “I do it because he can’t and he would love to,” he said. “My kids have every advantage any child could ever have. But when I see how many kids are disadvantaged it makes me want to help.”
Stuart Fraser of Make Architects said he spent far too much time riding alone – he jumped at the chance to ride with such a big group of people, in such a sociable setting.
For Christian Spencer-Davis of A Models, it’s all about the networking – especially in the bar. Wherever a stage ends, however isolated the hamlet or car park or community hall, Christian will have sniffed out a bar or brasserie and be holding forth with a glass of something frothy.'
Meanwhile, over in Italy, Chris Dyson of Chris Dyson Architects recounts his own day in the saddle:
'We are having a fabulous time here is my blog for the day !!
Stairway to heaven
Staying last night at a hotel (more like an Austrian chalet in Carsoli!) a bar with a stairway to nowhere above it ,,,we had arrived riding in the dark last night with light rain ...following a now regular post ride, yoga session we dived into the bar - sharing our days stories...Looking like something from a Rapha advert! All mud and sweat, puffy eyes...
A small group of us set out early for the mornings ride a 55km ride through the mist and clouds which after an hours steep and steady climbing we reached the sun and a heavenly view.
Coffee at Montopoli di Sabina in a sunlit piazza idilic! We devoured half a dozen oranges unwittingly provided by a total stranger!! Thankfully our guide Marco Mori sorted out this misdemeanour - before it got messy!
The food at dinner and lunch is phenomenal true Italian regional cuisine.
It was national women’s day and this was noted ...
“There's a lady who's sure
All that glitters is gold
And she's buying a stairway to heaven
When she gets there she knows
If the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for
Oh oh oh oh and she's buying a stairway to heaven
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, it really makes me wonder.....” Led Zeppelin, Stairway to Heaven
Pics by Matt Alexander and Joozle Dymond