Last Saturday was the Rutland and East Leicestershire 78 mile Sportive ride. There were hundreds of very keen cyclists taking part along with some Hope’s Italian Job riders who will be in the Geneva to Milan challenge.

It was lovely to meet up again with Mark Powell and Claire Wilkinson with whom I rode about 4 weeks ago to Market Bosworth and back. In addition I met Sarah Bloodworth for the first time. All four of us are of a similar ability level and as we found out on this ride will be encouraging and goading each other along the way in the alps.

In spite of earlier warnings of rain the day turned out to be absolutely gorgeous and this made the steep hills a bit more bearable. These climbs were a bit tougher than I expected but in the end it was all good training for the Alpine challenge.  In some places, I have been told, that the gradient was nearly 20%. I can certainly believe that!

Here are some pictures from the ride.Bragging rights - leader of the pack!

D2BR06

D2BR03

This week and next it is time for own intensive training and end of next week back to Rutland and South Leicestershire covering a total of 70 miles and going over the same steep hills, but this time in reverse order. This will be a group ride – so an opportunity for more bonding.

Sponsorship is still coming in and I have raised the target to £3000 which I feel is perfectly achievable. So keep it coming please.

Next week I shall have news of an important sponsorship and those who can’t wait can go over to my sponsorship page now to find out and may be sponsor me. Every bit , however small counts. http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/hopesitalianjob