Matthew Lawley
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Introducing our London | Paris 2018 ride captains

Matthew Lawley
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12 Feb 2018

An introduction to the London | Paris 2018 ride captains and some useful cycling tips

A group of cyclists pose in a line in the French countryside. They are taking on the London to Paris cycling challenge for Bloodwise, the blood cancer research charity

Ride captains are the backbone of a team there to support, guide and lead the Bloodwise cyclists between the English and French capitals. Every day, they brief the riders with important safety advice and are on hand to maintain the speed of the groups. They have many years of cycling experience and between them in excess of 10 London | Paris rides. They’re easily identifiable with their distinctive purple kit.

Meet the eight Bloodwise team captains for this year’s London | Paris.

Anthony Green: Lead captain

Anthony cycles as part of a group. He's taking on the London to Paris challenge to raise money for Bloodwise

  • Age: 41

  • Hometown: Gravesend

  • Previous L2P rides: 2015, 2016 and 2017

Bio

"While I haven’t been directly affected, I have several close friends and family who have been affected by some form of cancer. My beautiful wife unfortunately lost her first husband to Hodgkin lymphoma and I have seen the devastating effect it had on her and his family which continues today, 17 years on, and will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Through friends I was introduced to the Bloodwise ride and this is now my fourth year riding and third year as a ride captain. The stories of why people choose to ride are humbling and everyone you talk to has a story. This creates camaraderie among riders that unites us and keeps us going when we feel like we have nothing left to give.”

Anthony’s tips

  • Stretch every time you exercise. Building your flexibility will help you get more power on the bike and ache less during and after the ride. The majority of aches suffered while cycling can be eliminated with a regular stretching routine. If you don’t feel confident on your own, find a yoga or pilates class.”

  • “Core, shoulder and back strength is important. Your legs may be doing all the work but your upper body is supporting you and taking all the impact of the road.”

  • “There’s no quick fix for saddle soreness other than spending a lot of time in the saddle, however a good chamois cream will help. Make sure your bike is set up correctly for your height and frame – don’t be scared to invest in a bike fit.”

  • “If you’re struggling to get the miles in, a spin class is a great way to improve your strength and stamina.”

  • “You need to be able to eat and drink while on the move to keep your energy levels stable. Lots of people struggle to reach into their back pocket or grab their bottle unless they’re stationery, so make sure you practice even on a short ride.”

  • “Get used to riding close to others. Many people get nervous about this if they’ve trained alone.”

  • “Talk to the people around you. For example, pointing out holes in the road or tell them ahead of time if you’re stopping.”

Ben Wright

Ben Wright pictured taking on the London to Paris cycling challenge for Bloodwise, the blood cancer research charity

  • Age: 42

  • Hometown: Cranbrook

  • Previous L2P rides: 2015, 2016 and 2017

Bio

Ben also has a tremendous amount of cycling and L2P experience under his belt. He’s has been a massive part of the success and smooth running of the ride for many years and we’ll look forward to having him back once again in 2018.

Ben’s tip

“Get the miles in. 500km is a long way, so you need to prepare. If you can make it to at least one Bloodwise training ride, do so!”

Dan Pinn

Dan Pinn cycles through the countryside. He's fundraising for Bloodwise to support blood cancer research and patient care

  • Age: 20

  • Hometown: Croydon

  • Previous L2P rides: 2015, 2016 and 2017

Bio

We welcome Dan back for his third year as a captain. Dan works in the Bloodwise sports team and has a huge part to play in the behind the scenes work that goes into the event. He has plenty of cycling and L2P experience. He originally comes from a triathlon background and has competed at an elite standard.

Dan’s tip

“Practice riding in a group. It can be daunting if you haven’t done so before. Come along to the training rides to practice group riding and getting used to being in close proximity to others.”

Kim Charlton

Kim and a fellow cyclist pictured cycling together. They're competing in the London to Paris ride to raise money for Bloodwise

  • Age: 31

  • Hometown: London

  • Previous L2P rides: 2017

Bio

This pocket rocket is small but is full of ‘purple pedal power’. Kim is fairly new to cycling – however, she has come a long way in a short amount of time. She now races in triathlons, road and cyclocross competitions and is an all-around athlete. She has an amazing personality and is seen as a massive asset to the ride.

Kim’s tip

“Remember why you’re doing it. If you’re starting to struggle and just want to call it a day, just take a minute and about think why you’re there. Think about your motivation behind it, and all the people who suffer from blood cancer. Five days of cycling is nothing in comparison.”

Harry Horsman

Harry assists a fellow cyclist as they compete in the London to Paris ride for Bloodwise

  • Age: 17

  • Hometown: Tooting

  • Previous L2P rides: 2017

Bio

Harry has been in the sport for many years and has progressed to a very high standard. He comes from a triathlon background but his love for cycling has blossomed and he’s now a sponsored rider at Cadence Performance. We’re very excited to see what the future holds for this upcoming superstar.

Harry’s tip

“Work on your strength. Being able to cope for hours in the saddle requires body strength. Working on the foundations, such as your core, will help massively when it comes to cycling four days in a row and over 100km a day. Pilates are a great way to work on your core strength, flexibility and balance.”

Sean Dunlea

Sean pictured on his bike. Sean is a ride captain in the London to Paris cycling challenge. He's fundraising for Bloodwise, the blood cancer research charity

  • Age: 21

  • Hometown: Chelmsford, Essex

  • Previous L2P rides: 2017

Bio

“Since starting cycling from a young age at Eastway, London, I’ve had a pretty good career including racing for Great Britain at World Cup and World Championship races, and have won the National Trophy Cyclocross Series in 2014. I have over 100 career wins, and am now focusing on road racing.”

Sean’s tip

“Eat more than you'll think you need on the bike to avoid the dreaded bonk. Invest in some good rain gear such as Neoprene gloves, Neoprene overshoes, a rain jacket... Hopefully you won’t need it but you'll be glad you have it if it starts to rain!”

James Madgwick

James cycles in a Bloodwise T-shirt. Behind him are fellow Bloodwise cyclists  and a van

  • Age: 21

  • Hometown: Leystone

  • Previous L2P rides: 2017

Bio

Alongside Sean, James is a member of the Bloodwise QSW cycling team. James has plenty of cycling experience on and off the road and is a name to be reckoned with. We’re so pleased to James back to the team for 2018.

James’ tip

“Look after your bike and it’ll look after you. A well maintained bike will run smoother, saving you valuable energy, and is far less likely to have a mechanical. Regular checks on your brakes and tyres will help. It’s also worth getting a service before the ride.”

Bradley Nelson

Bradley cycling through the countryside as part of the London to Paris cycling challenge

  • Age: 24

  • Hometown: Norfolk

Our newest recruit from the Bloodwise QSW team is Bradley. Brad took up the sport four years ago and brings a wealth of on-the-road and cyclocross expertise to the team.

Bradley’s bio

“I've been lucky enough to compete in the UK and further afield, including UCI races in both Belgium and China. During the week, I spend my time balancing my cycling alongside my day job as a teacher. As a cyclist, it works out pretty well having those six weeks off in the summer!

This will be my first L2P, so it's a fresh new experience for me and one I'm really looking forward to being a part of.”

Bradley’s tips

“Always keep pedalling. You'll be amazed at how much energy you can use up trying to build up momentum after a period of freewheeling. If you can keep pedalling, you'll save yourself safe some valuable energy for the closing stages of each day on the ride!

Remember to take emergency food – something that's sugary that can get you out of a hole if you find yourself deep in one on day three. Remember to keep the food sweet though... you want something you're going to enjoy eating if you find yourself in a dark place!”