CALLING ALL CYCLISTS!
Building on the success of last year’s ride from London to Manchester, the BCO once again invite you to join another exciting challenge for 2013 – cycle the 290 miles from the bustling port of Bilbao to the Spanish capital and this year’s conference venue Madrid.
Come and join leading clients, consultants and contractors from the industry and unlock your inner Miguel Indurain, Alberto Contador or Bradley Wiggins and take part in a once in a lifetime experience.
Monday 13 May
This year we have teamed up with Cycle To…. the organisers who bring their considerable experience of Cycle to Cannes, Cape Rouleur and London to Paris rides. They will provide you with a fully supported ride providing three nights accommodation in four star hotels, transportation of your bike to and from the ride, route planning, food and mechanical support. The only thing you will have to worry about are your flights to and from Spain and making sure you have raised enough money for this year’s conference charity The Willow Foundation.
Before the ride even leaves, there will be ample opportunity to meet other participants at the detailed briefing meeting and a number of training rides around London. The ride is aimed at either regular commuters who are prepared to put in the extra training or enthusiastic cyclists who have completed a couple of sportives and are able to spend a whole day in a saddle.
You won’t be left to your own devices on the ride, we will travel as a single peloton at a steady pace, marshalled by dedicated ride captains who will guide us with support vehicles and satellite navigation all the way. Riding in a peloton will save at least 20% of your energy enabling you to travel further than perhaps you had previously thought. Peloton cycling will not only save energy, but provide an excellent opportunity to get to know like minded individuals from the industry. Regular food and water stops on the journey will also keep your energy levels up and you will surprise yourself how far you can cycle in a day.
The final itinerary is subject to confirmation but it is anticipated that you will arrive in Bilbao on Sunday to meet your bike (which will have travelled separately) and perhaps take in the world famous Guggenheim museum. The grand depart will take place on Monday morning and will take the peloton on minor roads through wooded hills, valleys and gorges past lonely castles and isolated homesteads. Apart from its beautiful landscapes and numerous historic monuments, the region is known for its world famous cuisine based fish and seafood, Rioja and vibrant street and bar life.
The first day will take in a steady climb away for the coast, 93 miles through beautiful scenery so stunning it formed the backdrop for this year’s Vuelta y Espana (Tour of Spain). The journey away from the coast is largely uphill, you will climb over 10,000 feet but what goes up, does come down so you can look forward to the 8,000 ft of descent. The ride will arrive in the ancient City of Burgos, capital of the Castile y Leon, world famous for its cathedral and birthplace to El Cid. Overnight, your bike will be checked by a trained mechanic ready for the next day’s ride.
As with the 2012 ride, day two will be the hardest taking us 110 miles through the Castile y Leon, the famous Spanish Plains (hopefully without the rain!). The ride will provide you with a unique opportunity to see unspoilt Spain passing through LeUna, Roa and finally the World Heritage city of Segovia. Although this day is a ride through the Plains, there will be hills too!
The last day will be a real treat and a challenge, we will leave Segovia following the route of stage twenty of this year’s Vuelta. The journey south will travel through the village of Cercedilla, into the Spanish National Park of Cuenca Alta del Manzanares. The climb will be a steady one up to 6200ft but the 40 mile descent into Madrid will be thrilling and a great way to save those tired legs. We will regroup on the outskirts of Madrid and travel by motorcycle escort into the heart of the Spanish Capital where you will be welcomed by senior members of the BCO.
The cost of this year’s ride will be £595 excluding VAT. It includes all meals, bike transfer to and from London and hotels. Flights to Bilbao and back to Madrid are excluded as is accommodation in Madrid. Thanks to this years sponsor’s EC Harris, Dome and ISG a commemorative jersey will be provided. Pre-training over several months is essential for this ride and Cycle To... will help to guide and organise this. The ride will be a challenge and will require a good level of fitness. We want you to enjoy the ride so you should feel comfortable riding an average of 16 mph over the flat and climb at a steady pace of at least 8mph for at least 10 hours a day in the saddle. Remember, there is nowhere to hide in a group going uphill!
Finally we would ask entrants to try and raise at least £600 in aid of this year’s chosen conference charity The Willow Foundation. The Willow Foundation is a national charity that provides special days for seriously ill 16 to 40 year olds. Each special day aims to provide beneficiaries and their loved ones a break from the realities of their diagnosis and treatment. At a time of uncertainty, spending quality time with family and friends can help restore a sense of normality, boost confidence and create precious memories for the future.
Entry is limited to conference delegates, or colleagues from companies who have taken a place. Delegates are able to invite one guest. There are only forty spaces available and the last date for commitment is 28 February 2013. Once entered there are no refunds allowed, we will maintain a reserve list in case people can transfer should you need to pull out, but this is not guaranteed.
Bookings for the Cycle Challenge can be made online when booking your delegate place for the conference. Click here to find out more.