TOUR DE FRANCE 2018 – TEAM OF 8 “EXTRA” ORDINARY KIWI CYCLISTS ABOUT TO TAKE ON THE RIDE OF A LIFETIME.
Eight amateur cyclists are gathered in the Vendee region on the Atlantic coast of France, about to embark on the challenge of a lifetime by riding every stage of the 2018 Tour De France route, one day ahead of the actual race itself. They are starting their epic journey on Friday 6th July.
The 3351km route is being ridden to raise funds and awareness for the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand and already the group has raised over $50,000 for the charity. They hope to reach their stretch target of over $100,000.
The ride aims to help the Mental Health Foundation provide information to individuals, families, friends and whānau about where to turn for help and the ways to look after ourselves and others.
The team have been expertly coached and supported by ex-Tour De France rider Hayden Roulston to give them the very best chance of success. They have trained extremely hard for the last 6 months, committing to up to 20 hours training each week and have gone on a specific low carb, high fat nutritional plan to prepare themselves for the gruelling ride ahead.
Jonathan Douglas organiser and keen amateur cyclist chose from over 100 applicants who met the criteria of being fit and mentally tough enough to take on the non-competitive challenge of a lifetime.
The team from across New Zealand includes a GP from Waimate, a Planning consultant from Auckland and an Associate Dean from Victoria University, Wellington.
“We believe this is the first time a team of amateur riders from New Zealand has attempted to ride all 21 stages of the race”, it’s going to a huge challenge”, says Jonathan.
The Tour De France is the world’s most popular multiple stage cycling race.
The 2018 route consist of 21 stages over a 3-week period and covers over 3300 km of riding. Each stage varies in length with the longest stage being 239km and a couple of stages involving riding over 5000m of vertical climbing.
In this year’s actual race NZ has 4 confirmed riders: Patrick Bevin (Team BMC) Jack Bauer (Mitchelton-Scott), Tom Scully(EF Drapac) and Dion Smith (Wanty-Groupe Gobert).