For many riders, day three of the third annual London to Monaco ride was nothing short of historic and started before dawn in the quaint town of Monfort in the tiny country of Luxembourg.
It was historic because many had not even come close to riding 125 miles in a single day. In fact, more than a few of the less experienced riders were worried they might not be able to finish. Even London to Monaco veterans such as Lloyd Chapman of Winch Design knew today was going to be tough.
But ride organiser Just Pedal’s solid planning, expert ride guides, and exquisite route planning through three countries in one day (Luxembourg, Germany, and France) was as special as every day has been so far. And the coffee from Climpson & Sons and killer lunch stop halfway through the day ensured that everyone had plenty of fuel. We needed it.
Lloyd Chapman summed up today’s long stage into the classic Chateau d’Ile in Strasbourg: “It was a day of two halves. Tough in the beginning, but the ending was great.” Tough because we were up early again after burning serious energy on the first two days and there was a thousand feet of climbing before we reached the 80-mile mark. Most groups also grappled with wind, rain and foreboding grey skies on the final 45-mile run into Strasbourg.
Despite all that, the course also featured a long, speedy descent into the last coffee stop and what Lloyd aptly describes as the “25-mile toe path with a tailwind” that put a cold, hard and satisfying exclamation point on a very long day in the saddle. All the riders were rewarded with massages and celebrated their achievement in the Chateau’s classic bar after dinner.
However, BLUE’s policy advisor Andrew Woods had a little more to celebrate than merely riding 125 miles through three countries to help BLUE raise funds to help the world’s oceans. It was also his 58th birthday which he celebrated in style with the rest of this year’s increasingly close-knit London to Monaco team who continue to come together to tackle challenges that seem insurmountable, not unlike BLUE does in St Helena, Ascension, Lyme Bay, the Mediterranean and the rest of its project sites around the world.
So please donate what you can and be sure to tune in tomorrow. We’re headed to Switzerland!