The Italian Job

Cycling over 800km via the legendary Col de la Madone for Boo Charity, September 2016.

First, a little history…

In 2012, 5 otherwise intelligent and successful businessmen cycled from Poole to Paris in 3 days. It should have been 235 miles, although in reality it was nearer 250 miles due to several wrong turns and a catastrophic failure in understanding the simple navigation system.

Then, in 2013, joined by a couple of extra victims, the magnificent 7 continued where they left off in Paris, and headed for Bordeaux. This should have been 380 miles (however it was over 400 because Russ took his Garmin system again) in 4 days. One member of the team, David “The Webbinator” Webb had to pull out due to business commitments, however having become tired of the ribbing from his friends, cycled from Caen to Bordeaux (500 miles) two weeks later, remarkably though, solo without the aid of the support van.

In 2014, the intrepid team (again, joined by others) cycled from Bordeaux to Perpignan, going “over the top” of the Pyrenees via the awesome Col du Tourmalet, one of the highest roads in Europe (2115m/6939ft) and one of the most popular stages of the Tour de France. This was around 425 miles.

In 2015, the largest team yet rode from Perpignan to Monte Carlo. It would have been too easy to cycle along the Riviera coast, so the team went via another Tour de France favourite, Mont Ventoux, elevation 1912m/6214ft) and one of the toughest stages in professional cycling (and amateur for that matter). However nothing prepared the riders for the last 2 days, in September 2015 where a month’s worth of rain fell on Antibes and Nice in 24 hours. After crashes and several sense of humour failures, the team rode into Casino Square a little older than when they started.

For 2016, a little earlier in the year to try and mitigate any bad weather, we’re setting off from Nice, climbing the Col de la Madone (made famous by a certain Texan who has never won the Tour de France), and then heading south into Italy, finishing in Rome.

This whole trip will be around 500 miles assuming Russ leaves his GPS at home, otherwise if he brings it, it could well end up being over 550 miles.