Local resident Nick Loweth and four other Knight Frank heroes (madmen?) have just completed the London to Cannes cycle challenge to raise money for charity. The ride successfully concluded at the international property event "MIPIM", hosted in Cannes.
Several of us in the village sponsored Nick and were rewarded with updates on his training schedule and daily blogs of the ride itself.
Nick trained incredibly hard, notching up 1000 training km since Christmas, which included one day covering 130 km. In addition he put in many hours on a turbo trainer/hamster wheel!
Day 1 from London to Folkestone, covered 122km – a warm up for the second day, Calais to Reims totalling 318 km – one of 3 days over 300km.
Day 2 was a difficult one for Nick – he had a poor night’s sleep and woke with a painful sore throat. But still completed 270km (the furthest he had ever ridden) and after a decent night’s sleep was ready for the next challenge.
Day 3 was another 300km. Setting off at 6am the riders were rewarded with views of the sun rising over Champagne vineyards. The temperature varied between minus 7C to 18C. They rode for over 12 hours that day and Nick completed all 6 stages arriving in Dijon, in the dark, at 40kph.
Day 4 the alarm went off at 4.40am and the legs were suffering! After a very cold start the sun appeared and lily-white legs were the order of the day. A monotonous day of long straight Roman roads was only relieved by 3 significant climbs (which Nick enjoys). He decided to call it a day at the end of stage 5. He had been out over 12 hours and covered 270km at an average speed of 26.7kph.
Day 5 was a kinder start with an extra hour in bed. Nick was determined not to drop any more stages and really enjoyed the Valence to Aix en Provence leg, a distance of 235km. The scenery was amazing with lavender fields and olive groves and riders were once again able to expose those slightly less white legs.
The terrain on this leg was anything but flat with several climbs and one amazing descent through the Verdon gorge. The sight of Mount Ventoux and pretty hill villages all helped to speed the km along, though one fairly big crash slowed things down temporarily. His average speed for the day was 25.6 km.
Day 6, the last day, had two really big climbs to start the ride. Nick had promised himself that he would launch an attack on the first climb. He succeeded and rode the whole climb at the front.
The day’s ride covered 172km but included a great deal of climbing. However, all the riders got together for the final stage and 105 of them rolled into Cannes along the sea front at 1500 hours, causing complete chaos!
Finishing on a high, Nick was almost sorry it was over but a few beers and the camaraderie of the other riders soon lifted spirits again.
He had cycled 1401km in 6 days and the Knight Frank team raised over £27k. They are supporting Coram, the UK’s first ever children’s charity, and Haven Breast Cancer Support Centres. It’s not too late to sponsor them:
Altogether this year’s event has raised more than £254,000.