Robert S
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The Green Army: Semur to Lons

Robert S
Posted by
26 Jun 2014

The Green Army are a team of seventeen cyclists, completing various stages of the London - Paris - Geneva - Nice cycling challenge. They are cycling in support of their good friend and colleague who has been diagnosed with lymphoma. To date, the team have raised in excess of £30,000 for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research through this event alone!

Today was supposed to be 98 miles, but...........

We set off at 8.15 from the hotel and made good time, warned that at 11 miles the road was being re-surfaced and was not safe to ride on. We duly arrived and carried our bikes the 0.5 miles until the end of the works.  The workers very kindly held a large lorry waiting to turn left until we had passed, and we then enjoyed a long descent into a village. However, at that point we could not find the trusty orange arrows that show the way. We back tracked and eventually Andy arrived in the van to tell us that we had missed a turning about 4 miles back and it soon became clear that the lorry had blocked the arrows directing us to turn right. We worked out a new route to get us back on track, but this added 8 miles to the trip.

The next challenge was the 6km climb out of Bligny sur Ouche, which we prepared for by stopping in the village for a cold drink and a rest. The climb was testing but everyone got up ok, and then enjoyed the 12km descent. With a strong headwind (which lasted all day) we had to work hard downhill as well and the maximum speeds were a little curtailed. Both Steve Rice and I failed by 0.3mph to hit 40mph much to our disappointment.

Lunch in Beaune followed the descent and then we set off again for the final 50+ miles. This was the toughest riding so far with strong headwinds and undulating landscape coupled with 30c+ heat. With 7 miles to go we stopped at a pretty village by a river and enjoyed ice-cream and cold drinks. We then set off for the final push and arrived at our hotel at 6pm having covered 105 miles. Suffice to say we were all pretty tired but proud of our achievement.

Last day to Geneva tomorrow, and we face an early challenge with a 3km climb with a gradient of 12% (steep!) almost straight away. Commonly known as Heartbreak Hill!

Wish us luck.

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