Funds raised: £340,000
This long-weekend challenge covers around 320km in just three days of cycling through the undulating countryside of southern England & France.
Heading south to Portsmouth we cross the channel & continue through the sleepy Normandy villages to the urban surroundings of Paris where we finish at the city’s most famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower.
Day four is free for you to explore the sights of Paris or just unwind, before boarding the Eurostar for a relaxing journey back to London.
Day 1 – Thursday 26 June
West Woodhay, Newbury – Portsmouth 86km approx
Our starting point is in the village of West Woodhay. We meet at approx noon and set off at 1pm on the first 20km to our lunch stop.
Leaving West Woodhay we set off on gently undulating terrain towards Ashmansworth before our first test of a steep uphill to the quiet Hampshire hamlet of Crux Easton. The climb continues for much of the stretch to our lunch stop in Whitchurch where we are rewarded with a pub lunch. Continuing south after lunch we pass the historic town of Winchester.
Before long we find ourselves in the glorious Hampshire countryside and the challenge of the South Downs with plenty of uphill challenges. Once over these beautiful hills we will have Portsmouth well and truly in our sights.
We arrive at Portsmouth at approx 19.00 & will enjoy dinner together & further briefings before boarding our ferry at 22.00. Our ferry departs at approx 23.00 for the overnight crossing to France. Cabins are booked for the group.
Day 2 – Friday 27 June
Le Havre – Evreux 114kms approx
This morning we arrive by ferry in Le Havre (approx 8.00am) having had breakfast on board. We are reunited with our bikes and we set off through the French region of Normandy.
Much of the morning is spent cycling close to the River Risle running through Haute Normandie as we head to the village of La Riviere St Sauveur. Passing through the village we have a very steep uphill towards Conteville where we can stop for a break & refreshments. We are then treated to a gentle downhill & mostly flat roads for the next few kilometres before another push up to Pont Audemer.
After approx 73kms we reach our lunch stop in the market town of Brionne where we eat in a typical Normandy restaurant.
This afternoon we continue through the typically French villages & the historic town of Le Neurbourg towards Evreux, our overnight stop. Evreux is situated in the pleasant valley of the river Iton, and its cathedral is one of the largest and finest in France. This evening we are bound to celebrate today’s achievement over a glass or two of French wine in these picturesque surroundings!
Day 3 – Saturday 28 June
City of Evreux – Eiffel Tower, Paris 120km approx
This morning we leave Evreux in an easterly direction bound for Paris and a beautiful days’ cycling. Normandy is known for its bocage, farmland criss-crossed with hedges and trees and we are soon cycling amongst this type of rural landscape.
The terrain is hillier today and we are soon tackling some steep uphills on our approach to Paris. As we progress through the day, our surroundings start to change and we enter the suburbs of Paris, stopping for lunch after around 80km.
We enter the centre of Paris and the excitement builds as we approach the final stages of our challenge. Continuing along the wide boulevards of Paris we find ourselves in front of the Eiffel Tower, Paris’ most impressive & recognisable landmark and the finishing point for our bike ride.
After crossing the finish line we continue to our hotel & tonight we enjoy a well-deserved celebratory meal in a Parisian restaurant. The meal will be held at the Hollywood Savoy and transport will be provided between our hotel & the restaurant.
Riders and Support Crew
- Alice Coe
- Carrie Woolfenden
Clare Van Dam
- Georgie Greene
- Rupert Digby
- Jeremy Woolfenden
- Nellie Elwes
- Oki Magill
Sebastian van Dam
- Phil Deeker