World Cycle Racing Grand Tour – Currently in France

Simon Hutchinson, one of the riders

As I write this, late afternoon on 20th February, six of the ten participants in the World Cycle Racing Grand Tour are in France. One passed fairly close to here earlier today but I had no idea the race was going on until five minutes ago. It would have been nice to have cheered him on! (Of the remaining four riders, one is in the UK, one is in Spain and two are in Belgium.) These crazy/dedicated indivdiuals are taking on a race that is five times longer than the Tour de France, as if that wasn’t long enough! They will be aiming to cover at least 190 miles a day. Actually, I think we need to know the names of these courageous souls: Jason Woodhouse, Kyle Hewitt, Martin Walker, Mike Hall, Richard Dunnett, Simon Hutchinson, Stephen Phillips, Stuart Lansdale and Sean Conway. Not only are they pushing themselves to their physical limits, but they’re raising money for thirteen different deserving charities.

These guys are aiming to beat Alan Bate’s global circumnavigation bike record of 18,310.47 miles (29,467.91 km) covered in 96 days, 10 hours and 33 minutes in 2010. Isn’t that fast enough? They’re being tracked by satellite and the data are updated every ten minutes. Log on here to see where they all are at any time.

In France their main challenge will be to cycle past boulangeries without being tempted to stop and indulge in viennoiseries by that almost irresistible smell of fresh croissants and baguettes that wafts out, and to avoid Francois Hollande and his begging tin.

Sean Conway

Further along the route it’ll be a tiny bit tougher with the Rocky Mountains, the Australian outback and the Gobi desert to contend with.

It’s too late to join in this attempt, which will bring the riders home just before the Olympic games, but should you be tempted for the future, and I’m thinking Gerry Patterson here, the guy who cycles up mountains for fun, then here are the rules.

Should you happen across a particularly weary looking cyclist that isn’t me out for a short spin, then it might well be one of these ten athletes. Give them a cheer and a surreptitious push!

0 Replies to “World Cycle Racing Grand Tour – Currently in France”

  1. I might need a bigger challenge next year, so thanks for sharing, Steph! How was that guy kitted out, by the way? Did he have 4 panniers? None? I wonder how light they travel.

    1. If anyone can cycle round the world, I think it would be you! I didn’t see Mike Hall sadly. I assume they have support teams but they look pretty weighed down in the photos. I’ll see what else I can find out about the race.

  2. I didn’t know about the race or the cyclists. After taking a look at the website, I see that some are heading west and some east. Interesting that they all don’t follow the same route at the same time.

  3. I think they are unsupported, but was curious to hear what they are lugging around with them. They all have their own websites, it seems, so I’ll take a look later. Thanks.

    1. I’ve been checking out their websites and I’m following them all on Twitter too. If you’re interested, here’s a list of the Twitter addresses: Stephen Phillips @globecycleracer
      Sean Conway @Conway_Sean
      Stuart Lansdale @StuJLans
      Simons Hutchinson @SimonsEpicCycle
      Richard Dunnett @Onebigpedal
      Paul Ashley-Unett @paulcyclesworld
      Mike Hall @Normally_Human
      Martin Walker @Cycle_Around
      Kyle B Hewitt @KBH_WCR
      Jason @boyonhisbike

  4. Hi this is Mike’s mum and a vey proud mum at that At the moment Mike is somewhere in the Australian outback . He is pushingon but has had a few problems and has so far traveled across EUROPE and INDIA . It is both mentally and physically challenging for these young men and I do hope that anyone that meets them offers them thehand of friendship. Sean Conway has unfortunately met with and accident in Arkansas with a truck knocking him off the road, He is fortunate that his injuries were not more serious , bu the intends to get back in the saddle and ride. All these guys need our love and encouragement they are doing this for varous charities and intend to get into the Guiness Book of Records SO please chher them on !!! Thank you

    1. I’m so pleased to hear from you Pat. I’ve been following the cyclists’ tweets but had got behind this week. Poor Sean, I hadn’t realised he’d had an accident.
      I shall blog about the lads again because it’s such an incredible feat they’re undertaking and for a good cause. Here’s hoping Mike gets round safely and has the experience of a lifetime.

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