TRAINING is intensifying for Evesham Wheelers member and fund-raiser Helen Russell in the final build-up to the Le Tour – One Day Ahead charity cycling challenge.
Russell, who is also a member of Bromsgrove & Redditch Athletic Club, is riding the entire route of this year’s Tour de France alongside former England footballer and Barnt Green resident Geoff Thomas in a bid to raise £1m for Cure Leukaemia.
She recently travelled to Aspen in Colorado to attend a training camp with the One Day Ahead team and, whilst in Aspen, the team of 11 cyclists met up to train with former professional cyclist Lance Armstrong, who is lending his support to the challenge and the fund-raising efforts to combat blood cancer.
Armstrong led two training rides out of the ski resort of Aspen along the Rio Grande Trail to the resort of Snowmass and along the Frying Pan River Road to the summit of Gyp Hill. Armstrong is also set to ride a couple of the 2015 Tour Stages with the One Day Ahead team in July.
Russell said: “Training is going well. It was great to meet the other members of the team in Aspen and hopefully the training at altitude will help for when we have to ride the French mountains.
“With his years of fundraising for cancer survivors, Armstrong is an ally in the fight against leukaemia and he is 100 per cent committed to helping the team to raise £1m.”
Russell, who is hoping to raise £50,000 for Cure Leukaemia, will also be joining 300 other cyclists to take part in the Cure Leukaemia London to Paris ride at the end of June.
“I am looking forward to riding London to Paris as it will be my first experience of riding day after day in the saddle and will be a good warm-up before Le Tour in July,” she added.
From July 3-25 Russell will ride 3,344 kilometres over 21 stages, covering nine flat, three hilly and seven mountain stages as well as two time trial routes, amounting to over 100 miles on average a day.
All monies raised will go towards the lifesaving work carried out at the Centre for Clinical Haematology at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where Professor Craddock treated Geoff Thomas and will increase the centre’s ability to deliver pioneering treatments for blood cancer patients.
Donations can be made via Russell’s Just Giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/HelenRussell-LeTour/.
You can also donate to Russell’s Cure Leukaemia challenge this Sunday (June 14) at Evesham Country Park where she and members of the Evesham Wheelers are doing a turbo cycle ride to raise funds.