Le Tour Trial: Week Six

Tour de France reporter Jonathan Brown on his latest practice ride near Otley
Tour de France reporter Jonathan Brown on his latest practice ride near Otley
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Tour de France reporter Jonathan Brown has decided to saddle up and ride the 190km stage one route from Leeds to Harrogate in a single day to raise money for the charities behind Wheatfields and St Gemma’s hospices in Leeds.

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 hour weekly training plan and is writing a weekly training column. To donate visit www.justgiving.com/teams/letourtrial.

WEEK SIX: Feeling pretty proud of returning from my first 20mile cycle ride unscathed last week, I decided to ramp it up this time around.

With the help of a friend of mine who took on the 112mile Etape Du Dales ride last year, I was guided on a 30mile ride through Headingley, Cookridge, Otley and back on Monday. In truth I felt surprisingly comfortable fitness-wise, although the same couldn’t be said for my backside. I don’t know if I’m just not used to the pain or maybe my seat doesn’t fit but it certainly makes my rest days uncomfortable.

Anyway, enough about my saddle sores. On the ride I tackled my first proper climb out the back of Otley towards Askwith Moor and as much as it was pretty draining, I made it.

After walking like John Wayne for a day or two, I managed a couple of static bike sessions later in the week as well. For the first time I used my heart rate monitor to work to improve my aerobic fitness.

I was feeling quite positive about my prospects until I realised that, with less than two months to go until my June 15 challenge, the longest ride I’ve managed is less than a quarter of the distance of the Grand Depart route I’m taking on. It’s quite literally a long road ahead.

Tomas Pietrangeli, Managing Director, Arla Foods UK, Photo: Adrian Forrest

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