For those who are new to my blog, the Trois Etapes is the ultimate competitive pro-am cycling race. Each team of 8 riders (7 amateurs and 1 pro) has its own team car and Directeur Sportif. For anyone who loves bike racing, this is the dream event. I had the chance to lead the Walking with the Wounded team last year and am delighted to be back. The event raised a phenominal $1.6 million in its first year, and has even bigger ambitions in 2013. You can follow my blog and social media for all the updates and then see the race on Channel 4 and British Eurosport.
The 2013 edition of the Trois Etapes will see 14 teams compete over four days (26-29 July) including a flat Prologue and three mountain stages – Col du Glandon, Col de l’Iseran and Col de la Madeleine.
The iconic HMS Belfast, by London Bridge, was the setting for the press call. My first observation is that the new team all look very fit and ready for a tough race. Thinking back to my last six months of hard swimming and running training, I reckon I have my work cut out back on the bike!
The team is particularly honoured to have Terry on board. Terry lost his lower leg in a land mine explosion in Afghanistan. Terry has not just returned to full fitness, but gone on to win gold on the track at the Paralympic world championship. Hopefully that raw power will translate well in the vertical world of the Alps!
Apart from looking forwards to a very tough but enjoyable race, the biggest winner from this superb event will be the charities. Walking with the Wounded do so much hard work with ex-servicemen and women and the Trois Etapes riders, sponsors, donors have already raised a lot in support.
The Trois Etapes challenge can be followed on twitter via Twitter @MrMarkBeaumont and @LDCPE and @SupportThe Walk also using the hashtag #TroisEtapes13.
Thank you to the superb sponsorship for Walking with the Wounded Trois Etapes team from LDC, EDM Group, Forrest and Mama & Co. Well done and thanks to the superb organisation by Niels and the team from Cosaveli. Also special mention to the Imperial War Museum for allowing access to HMS Belfast.
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