A weekend with Lance Armstrong

As mentioned in my last blog post, I’m getting to know Geoff Thomas and learning about his mission to raise £1million for Cure Leukaemia. Well I’m sleep deprived and my body clock is all over the place, I’ve landed back in the UK from a trip to the USA, a last minute (self-funded) weekend trip of a lifetime. Here’s Mel Brand‘s view of things.

The group at the top of the Ruedi Reservoir Climb.
Geoff, Lance and the group at the top of the Ruedi Reservoir Climb. Yes, he did give some of us a friendly push up the hill.

Liz Kreutz photographer.
Dave Bolch – driving trucks & bikes with Liz Kreutz photographer.

Just over a week ago I met Geoff Thomas for the first time. Geoff is a former England international football player and cancer survivor. In July, alongside Geoff and his team of riders, I will be riding every stage of the Tour de France just one day ahead of the professional race. In doing so we hope to raise £1.0m for Cure Leukaemia. As I write this I am sat on an aeroplane flying back from Aspen, Colorado. Geoff, myself and the team have just spent 3 days there as part of our preparation for the ride. Why would we fly half way across the world to ride you may ask. Well, Geoff has asked Lance Armstrong, also a cancer survivor, to join us. So we flew out to Aspen to meet him and begin filming a documentary about the ride. A controversial move, yes. But this was not a decision that Geoff took lightly.

For my own part I relish the thought of riding every stage of the Tour, and what better opportunity to do this than whilst raising money for such a worthwhile cause. My decision to participate in the ride is certainly not contingent upon the fact that any other single rider is also raising money and awareness for the charity.

We arrived in Aspen late Thursday night after a very long journey from the UK. Friday morning we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, as the group gradually introduced themselves to each other. With plenty of coffee inside us, we headed into Aspen to collect the hire bikes (specially ordered in!). As a group we climbed out of Aspen, up Maroon Bells and Castle Creek, cursing the effects of altitude and jet-lag. It was not until Saturday that we met our guide for the weekend – Lance.

To be continued…

Written by Mel Brand

Dirt Road! Verity's favourite bit.
Dirt Road! Verity’s favourite bit.
Liz on the support vehicle
Liz Kreutz on the support vehicle – she is awesome!




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