Setting off on Le Tour - Brest, Brittany

Setting off on Le Tour - Brest, Brittany
Ian (Left) and Matt (Right)

Hello and a very warm welcome to our blog.

We are two amateur cyclists who have decided to follow in the footsteps of our cycling heroes and ride the complete 2008 Tour de France route. This year the most famous cycle race in the world covers 3500km (2200 miles) over 3 weeks in July and takes in some of the highest mountain passes in the Pyrenees and Alps.

We will start two days after the professionals on 7th July in Brest, Brittany and ride the whole thing stage-for-stage, road-for-road, day-for-day as the pros will be. This will result in us arriving in Paris on 29th July, having averaged 100 miles per day. Please click this link to see what lies ahead of us:
Our aim is to complete the whole route and this means that we will not be racing round but riding at a sensible, sustainable pace. As a result, we expect to be in the saddle for 12 hours on some days.

Friends and family will be driving a support vehicle but we will not have the benefit of masseurs, soigneurs, chefs and team doctors that the pros have. And there will be no Testosterone, EPO or illegal blood doping going on in our Tour!

We hope to raise as much money as possible for two very worthwhile charities: Ian is raising money for CLIC Sargent and Matt for MacMillan Cancer Support. Please dig deep and support these charities via our justgiving pages on the right. Alternatively, please email us with your name, contact details and the amount you would like to donate and we will contact you after we complete our tour.

At this time, a friend of Ian's, Robbie Stuart, is fighting Leukaemia and is a supporter of CLIC Sargent's work. A link to his blog can be found here. Best wishes go to Robbie who is currently recovering from a bone marrow transplant.

Please tell you friends about our blog and what we are doing, and please send us words of encouragement and support.
We will update you with our training and we will be keeping a diary on here as we ride the event in July.

Best wishes

Ian and Matt

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Rest Day 2: Near Cuneo 23/7/08


We had been looking forward to this rest day after some long, hot days in the saddle and we were blessed with perfect weather this time. We spent the day and evening with Malcolm and Steph, Carl and Sue in a small town near Cuneo. They asked me to keep the exact location secret as it really is an idyllic spot not yet discovered by British tourists! In fact, even the ski resorts, such as Prato Nevoso, are unvisited by the Brits. They were in the process of renovating an old Italian farmhouse, having relocated from the hustle and bustle of the UK.
We couldn’t have been a lot lazier on our rest day! We had a leisurely breakfast and gave our bikes a once over before heading to the nearby village for a coffee and beer. Here Matt spoke via phone to BBC radio Scotland live on air. They were interested on how we were progressing and had a Tour de France expert on the show. After this we wandered down to a local spring where locals had been filling up their water bottles for centuries!
After lunch and a well needed snooze we headed over to the local campsite to use the swimming pool. I had been dreaming of swimming in pools and rivers while we were cycling in the hot, arid conditions of the past few days and it was great to finally jump in one! A bit of sunbathing too though it had no effect on improving our ridiculous tan lines from over a hundred hours in the saddle through strong sunshine! We must have looked a bit silly in our swim shorts with white torsos and brown arms, legs and faces.
Dinner was spent at a local favourite restaurant of our hosts where we stocked up on beer and pizza ready for the next day’s two tough HC climbs, the second, the Cime de Bonnett-Restefond being the highest road in Europe at 2802m!
A thoroughly enjoyable stay with great people. We hadn’t even met them before and it was luck that Malcolm had seen the Bristol Evening Post article back in February. Thank you so much Malcolm and Steph!


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