On 29 May 2011, the day the Pro’s finish the Giro d’Italia in Milan, having completed 3964km, I will roll off from the start line they will have left 23 days earlier. Chasing legends, living my dream – to be a grand tour rider.
So I’ve got gold in the Etape, done the Cingles du Mont Ventoux, cycled the London to Paris a few times, completed a couple of stage rides in the Pyrenees. What next?
One of my dreams is to complete a Grand Tour, however, having been born the wrong sex and converted to cycling well past a Procyclists sell by date (I’ll relinquish the assumption of having the right genes to be a pro rider), the only way I’d get to fulfill my dream would be to ride it myself. Being somewhat logistically challenged – I bear the nickname “The Logistical Wizard” – the best option would be for someone else to organize the event. Someone has!
It took 2 months to make up my mind to sign up for the event, partially time off work was one concern, as I have a no-work no-pay job. But more importantly was the challenge ahead. Careful analysis of the Giro d’Italia route reveals a somewhat tougher challenge than riding the Tour de France.
3946km over 21 days, that’s an average of 166km per day. But closer scrutiny shows 9 stages over 200km, 4 of which are in the high mountains.