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Le Tour – One Day Ahead (author Helen Russell)

by / Friday, 03 July 2015 / Published in sport

This spring I began to plan my triathlon race calendar-a silver medal in my age group at the 2014 European Aquathlon Championships meant that I had pre-qualified for this year’s championship race, so I was expecting to focus on my swimming and running. However, all that changed when I was asked to join the Le Tour-One Day Ahead team. This year I am putting my triathlon ambitions on hold to focus on something more important than winning medals.

Helen's latest adventure for an amazing cause

Helen’s latest adventure for an amazing cause

From 3rd-25th July I will ride 3344 kilometres over 21 stages, covering a combination of some short punchy climbs early on, the cobbles of the Seraing to Cambrai stage, the brutal 18 hairpin ascent of the Lacets de Montvernier and a classic climax on Alpe d’Huez. Over the three weeks I will have to cycle 9 flat, 3 hilly and 7 mountain stages as well as 2 time trial routes. At an average of around 100 miles/170km a day for three weeks this will be, without a doubt, the hardest thing I will ever have done but I am sure that the winter of cycling in the mountains with Ciclo Costa Blanca will have been good preparation!

Helen Training for her Cycle

Helen Training for her Cycle

I will be part of a small team and only one of two women on the team. I am hoping that not only will my participation help raise £1 million to help beat Leukaemia but also show that women can ride the same route as the men and boost the argument for a women’s Tour de France.

All monies raised will go towards the life-saving work carried out at the Centre for Clinical Haematology (CCH) at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham (QEHB), where Professor Craddock treated Geoff Thomas. In 2003 Geoff was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia and was given less than three months to live. Following treatment from Cure Leukaemia Co-founder Professor Charlie Craddock, Geoff has been in remission since January 2005. The £1 million we hope to raise through Le Tour – One Day Ahead will increase the Centre’s ability to deliver pioneering treatments for blood cancer patients at this international centre of excellence in Birmingham, UK.

Training has been going well. I can’t remember the last time I ran or swam as my focus has been totally on the bike. At the beginning of June the team got together to train in Aspen to ride at altitude and do some state side media work. My Amphibia equipment was brilliant-the X2 Bag was the perfect size for cabin baggage, the scarf doubled up as a sun protector in sunny Aspen and then a scarf at the snow covered peaks of the Rockies and my plastic pouch was ideal to keep my mobile dry. Last weekend I did my last long ride, which was the London to Paris ride with 230 other cyclists to raise £500k for Cure Leukaemia. Now it’s all about recovery and tapering. I have picked up a few niggles in training and am hoping to get rid of them through a combination of massage, pilates and chiropractic treatment so that I will be in the best shape on the start line in Utrecht on 3rd July!

Helen ready to go in France after cycling from London

Helen ready to go in France after cycling from London

Helen’s Just Giving Page: https://www.justgiving.com/HelenRussell-LeTour/

Helen is a Great Britain age group triathlete. She is a former age group World and European Duathlon champion and European Triathlon champion. You can follow Helen’s preparations for Le Tour One Day Ahead on Twitter at @helengoth https://twitter.com/helengoth 

We at Amphibia wish Helen the very best on this amazing adventure for a fantastic cause!

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