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Le Tour Trial: Week Four

Reporter Jonathan Brown is put through fitness tests in preparation for his cycling challenge by sports scientist Andy King and coach Tom Barras at Carnegie Sports Centre, Leeds Metropolitan University. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Reporter Jonathan Brown is put through fitness tests in preparation for his cycling challenge by sports scientist Andy King and coach Tom Barras at Carnegie Sports Centre, Leeds Metropolitan University. Picture Bruce Rollinson

The gruelling 190km Grand Depart stage one route from Leeds to Harrogate is not for amateurs.

But having been a non-cyclist since his teenage years, and having never ridden a road bike, Tour de France reporter Jonathan Brown has decided to get back in the saddle to take on the stage in a single day and raise money for charity.

With the help of training-pro.co.uk coach Tom Barras and cycling firms Wheelbase and Cyclesense, the 24-year-old has agreed to an eight-hours-per-week training programme.

His Le Tour Trial challenge is in aid of the charities behind Wheatfields and St Gemma’s hospices in Leeds. Visit www.justgiving.com/teams/letourtrial to donate.

I’ve had a hectic week, admittedly mostly off two wheels.

Having had to tackle a laborious move to a new flat in Leeds, I’ve had a few days out of work which have been mainly spent on my knees cleaning my old place, and moving boxes to my new abode.

Cycling has taken a bit of a back seat unfortunately, but after the move was complete I summed up the courage to take to the roads for the first time on my bike.

I donned the Lycra, strapped into my helmet and took to some quiet roads to get used to riding among traffic.

Despite my best intentions however, my poor sense of direction soon led me on to the rat run that is Scott Hall Road and, although I was screaming inside for most of it, I do feel a lot better for it.

The sensation of speed is immense on a road bike, I really underestimated the thrill. The bore of static bike turbo training doesn’t really prepare you for that adrenaline rush.

I probably only covered about eight miles in all, which is a start. But I really feel like I can start to push on now taking to traffic is out of the way.

The plan is to get back into the habit of turbo training, refine my indoor work and then hopefully see if I can make my way out of Leeds and into the countryside.

It’s a long road ahead.

 

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