A weekend with Lance Armstrong Part 2

Its interesting reading some of the comments on social media, for and against LA, and some people whom I know personally just don’t know what to think. To me, it doesn’t matter, essentially, this weekend was about Geoff Thomas celebrating his 10 years in remission from cancer. On meeting Geoff it is quite apparent how lovely and welcoming he is, I can also see how his body remains pretty marred from the treatment, he had 50% chance of surviving. The aim of this visit was to raise awareness, we were invited by Geoff to join him on a once in a lifetime weekend and Lance was a dutiful host, this was not a charity funded or corporate trip. There were no egos on parade by anyone, it all felt very natural, the group dynamics were great and provided much entertainment – largely due to the journalists!

Here, Mel Brand follows Part 1of her meeting with Lance and his family.

Haydon forever in Lance's shadow...
Haydon forever in Lance’s shadow…

Saturday morning we met outside Lance’s house ready to ride. I was open minded about meeting him.
We rode out two abreast, at a steady pace. Lance stayed at the front and other riders rotated through. The route took in part of the Leadville 100 mountain bike route, on dirt paths up the back of Snowmass. At the foot of the climb a couple of us picked up the pace wanting to test each other a little. The group had ridden together for the first time yesterday and we were enjoying the dynamics that a new group finds.
Inevitably the group broke up as the climb progressed. Being a dirt track, the surface was lose and it was easy to lose traction.
Lance rode without pushing the pace but Hayden and myself were working hard at an altitude to which we were not acclimatised. I wanted to stay on Lance’s wheel for as long as I could, but as we ascended my lungs were screaming at me. I hung on for a while until the elastic snapped and I lost contact with Lance and Hayden.
The ride back from Snowmass saw more group fun, with Lance giving me a cheeky push up the hill so that I could try to beat Hayden to the top.

Verity getting a push - she needed it...
Verity getting a push – she needed it…

Saturday evening Lance invited our group for a BBQ at his house.  Fortunately for us, we have two Michelin Star chefs amongst the TDF One Day Ahead riders. Hayden happily volunteered to prepare the food, ably assisted by Lance’s partner Anna. We spent a very enjoyable evening eating, drinking and playing pool.
Sunday followed a similar pattern to Saturday.  We met early and rode from Lance’s house, this time riding out to Ruedi Reservoir and up beyond the dam.

Lance Le Tour guide
Lance Le Tour guide

The weekend provided an opportunity for the team to ride together for the first time in the most stunning setting. We met Lance, who was the most affable host.  It has given myself and the team that little bit of extra motivation to reach our fundraising targets and prepare for the pending challenge.

Written by Melissa Brand

Also best wishes to Simon Gueller for a thorough and speedy recovery xxx

Part 1 of Meeting Lance Armstrong is here.




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