16 March 2012
Professional track and road racing cyclist, Ben Swift who rode Tour de France last summer, encourages enthusiasts to sign up for Ride L’Etape this September, children’s charity Action Medical Research’s toughest cycling challenge yet.
The event, which takes place from 6-9 September 2012, will replicate a mountain stage from last year’s Tour de France. It will follow the punishing route of stage 19 that was tackled by the elite riders in 2011.
Ben reminisces about last year’s event, “I was a little scared of stage 19 as I knew it was going to be hard. It was a nice feeling when we got to Alpe D’huez after attempting Col du Telegraphe and Col du Galibier. I was aware it wasn’t going to be easy but the amount of fans was incredible and it drove me up the climb. Reaching the finish line was absolutely thrilling! With a hard day behind us we knew we had just climbed our last mountain of the day!”
The main route will cross the Col du Télégraphe at 1,566m before climbing up the legendary Col de Galibier (2,556m). After some downhill respite the final ascent begins up the famous 21 bends of Alpe d’Huez. At ‘only’ 14km long this final climb of the day is relatively short but renowned for its steep gradients, which have enabled dramatic and gutsy displays of riding over the years. It promises stunning views, twisting hairpin bends and gruelling gradients.
Oly Watts, National Events Manager at Action Medical Research, said: “This is our toughest challenge yet and an opportunity which is not to be missed. It’s a chance to experience the Tour de France from the saddle and conquer some of the most famous climbs in cycling, following in the treads of the sport’s greatest riders.”
Riders participating in the challenge will raise money for the charity, which helps fund vital medical research into conditions affecting babies and children. Research currently being supported by Action Medical Research includes work around meningitis, epilepsy, cerebral palsy and premature birth, as well as some very rare and distressing conditions that severely affect children.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
For more information about Ride L’Etape please contact:
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Action Medical Research - the leading UK-wide medical research charity dedicated to helping babies and children - is celebrating 60 years of vital research in 2012. We’ve been funding medical breakthroughs since we began in 1952 and have spent more than £100 million on research that has helped save thousands of children’s lives and changed many more. Today, we continue to find and fund the very best medical research to help stop the suffering of babies and children caused by disease and disability.
We want to make a difference in:
• tackling premature birth and treating sick and vulnerable babies
• helping children affected by disability, disabling conditions and infections
• targeting rare diseases that together severely affect many forgotten children.
But there is still so much more to do. Make 2012 a special year and help fund more life-changing research for some of the UK’s sickest babies and children.