Bill Jordan and Mick Byrne tackle L’Etape
On July 6 2008 Bill and Mick will roll out from Pau in the south of France with 8000 cycling enthusiasts for this gruelling event. The group will be made up of the full range of people who ride bikes from ex Tour professionals to old age pensioners and these people, male and female, will come from all over the world with their own goals in mind but with the common bond that is the humble bike.
This year for the first time(as far as we know) Slaney Cycling Club will be represented in this vastness by Bill And Mick and we wish them well as they hopefully become the first club members to finish this tough event.
They will climb the infamous Col du Tourmalet(2115 metres) and finish at Hautacam(1520 metres) and will also have the lottery that is the worlds weather to contend with, this could mean anything from freezing on the mountain tops to 40 degrees in the valleys. An added difficulty is the rolling cut off, unlike the Mount Leinster Challenge, at various points along the route your time is taken and if you are outside the set time you are pulled from the race.
The lads will travel from Ireland with On Your Bike on monday next and spend the week before the event training and finding their climbing legs. As part of their training the Slaney duo will tackle many of the famous climbs in this area including Luz-Ardiden, Col d’Aubisque and Col de Soulor.
We hope to get some reports from France on how they are doing and will put them up as soon as we get them.