Thursday morning, central London. 190 riders gather with bikes and bags for the start of the Legal & General Real Assets Cycle to MIPIM 2018, and a six-day, 1,500km ride to Cannes. By 8.30am there is a huge number of supporters ready to cheer on the fundraisers. The riders are split across two routes – one via Portsmouth, the other via Folkestone – and at 9am the riders make their way out of the city. One group made up of teams sponsored by Elliott Wood, HTA Design, Lee Baron, Piccadilly Gardens, Pitman Tozer and Webb Yates, makes their way south-east to Folkestone, whilst the others team heads south-west to Portsmouth to end the first day.
It’s a great day on the Folkestone route and Club Peloton CEO Nick Hanmer is taking to the road with the riders this year. A busy ride out of London was rewarded by some amazing cookies at Brands Hatch. “Cracking weather” with sunshine and a great tailwind got everyone to lunch and then on to Folkestone on time.
Luckily the only snow left was off the road and made us very thankful that the “Beast from the East” has gone home. Showers, dinner and some massages to relieve aching bodies were had in Folkestone before everyone boarded the Chunnel with their goody bag of cheese, chutney, wine and crackers from AHMM to REFUEL. Strong performance from the women to mark International Women’s day but we need more next year…
133km down, 1367km to go…!
It’s slow progress through central London at rush hour but once out of London, the sun comes out and it’s a bright, chilly, Spring day. The group is plagued by punctures and mechanicals, all of which add time to the day.
After the first coffee break, there’s an exceptionally long 60km slog. Lunch – which happens much later than planned – is warming baked potatoes, chilli and apple crumble, all of which is inhaled at great speed and with great relish. As the riders resume for the final 40km to Portsmouth, the peloton becomes a long stream of flashing lights as dusk falls. With a motorcycle escort into Portsmouth, the riders make their way safely to the hotel, having successfully navigated 148km in some very testing conditions.
Quote of the day has to go to Sam McClary, Ride Captain (EG): Top quote from Sam McClary, Ride Captain, “The thing I like most about cycling to MIPIM is not having to wear undercrackers for a week.”
Portsmouth route images of the day:
Folkestone route images of the day: