The Alpine Challenge kicked off today in Annecy, France. Billed by organisers HotChillee as the "Professional Event for Amateurs", it's a much celebrated sportive in the French Alps and one which is the mainstay of any serious bike rider's calendar.
In this, a series, during the run of the four stages of the Alpine Challenge, we catch up with someone who's taking part in the event and ask them what attracted them to four days of hard work and hard cycling.
First off, we spoke to Mark Phillips. Formerly heading up the 2012 Olympic Marketing Campaign for adidas, Mark now runs his own consulting company, The Captaincy, providing solutions to mainly sporting companies who may be suffering in different areas.
Mark Phillips (centre) with pro-cyclist Yanto Barker (l) and HotChillee's Sven Thiele (r)
Mark is a self proclaimed novice to the sport, stating an event like the Alpine Challenge shows him how little he actually knows about cycling. However, he thinks 'in at the deep end' is a great approach when it comes to a sport like cycling.
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