Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic 100 (2013)
We did it! Richard Hitchell at the finish outside Buckingham Palace with Sam Tesch (the Openwork Foundation Manager) and Ramon Puig
We all made our way to the Olympic stadium in the early hours, Graham and Jonathan left Swindon at 3:30 and others cycled up to 8 miles from their accommodation to reach the start.
The nerves were building as the team talked tactics and what food they were planning to take on during the event.
Everyone was away by 7:45 and had the added challenge of having to complete the event in 9 hours ahead of the professional cyclists. It was amazing atmosphere as we left the stadium in waves, for a rolling 2 miles, before reaching the actual start line. That’s an extra 10miles cycled!
The roads were all closed to traffic, a true privilege to cycle past iconic London sites as we headed to Hampton Court and on to the Surrey Hills, for the infamous Leith Hill and Box Hill.
The team notched up the miles, most choosing to stop when they needed just water. Sam Tesch and myself took our time to enjoy the sights and taking advantage of the excellent Hub stops pacing ourselves – “it’s a sportive not a race”. Having never done 110 miles on a bike before I didn’t know what it would take to finish.
Many of our families were there enroute and at the finish to cheer us on and the organisation and hospitality from Prudential was outstanding, getting to meet Laura Trott was an added bonus for some.
I’m really pleased that everyone reached the finish, 3 of us crossing the line together, well within the 9 hour limit.
We were elated to have been part of this inaugural event and many are now talking about what they’d do differently next year to improve their times!
The team were raising money for The Openwork Foundation and should reach an overall total of nearly £6,000. A great result!
Richard Hitchell, Sam Tesch, Jamie Chapman, Brian Downton, Mark Duckworth, Mike Gummerson, Neil Holland, Graham Mearns, Jonathan Miller, Chris Mison, Brendan Murton, Ramon Puig, Philip Rowe, Nick Swartout, Stewart Williams.