London-Paris 2010 - The Best Yet

Monday 28th June 2010

The London-Paris 2010 has been hailed as “the best yet” by the organisers and riders who took part in the event.

The ride was again blessed by glorious weather which followed the peloton from the start in London to the finish close to the Eiffel Tower.

L2P 2010 Jersey Holders (LtoR) Tanya Slater, Eddie Lewis, Guy Pearson, Sean Dines

Guy Pearson, of Pearson Cycles, who was riding as one of 40 members of Team Pearson to celebrate the company’s 150th anniversary, was awarded the yellow jersey.  For the second year running, the team title went to Science In Sport, The L2P’s nutrition partners.  SiS rider, Tanja Slater, was also awarded the pink women’s jersey.

The green sprint jersey went to Sean Dines, of sponsors Mavic, the famous yellow Tour de France support car suppliers, who also provided L2P support this year.   The top climber was another Pearson Cycles rider, Eddie Lewis, who was awarded the red C37 climber’s jersey.

Organiser Sven Thiele said: “This was without doubt the best London-Paris.  We strive every year to improve the event and we were again rewarded with three days of blue skies and sunshine.  We have a mixture of experienced cyclists and those who are just beginning to enjoy this magnificent sport.  I’d like to pay tribute to everyone who was with us on the road to Paris.  For every cyclist, this ride is an enormous challenge and getting to Paris is a huge personal achievement.”

Among this year’s riders were former Tour winner, Stephen Roche and ex-rider and former Team Sky coach, Scott Sunderland.   Sunderland said: “Like last year, I rode myself into it.  I’ve got a bit of an old pro diesel engine. It was a great atmosphere and I did a lot of work with Group 3.  That was a lot of fun.

“It was quite funny arriving in Paris because people thought the Tour de France was coming in a month early.  It’s great for the event and it’s just a massive unloading of emotion at the finish.  Everyone was achieving their own personal goals and it was nice to see so many people so happy.”

For Roche, the L2P was an emotional experience.  “It’s very emotional,” he said at the finish.  “We’ve done almost 600km over the past three days, it’s been very hot and very challenging and the level this year has been higher than last year.  They all deserve champagne at the end because it’s a great challenge and it’s emotional.

“The organisation was incredible.  To block off Paris, ride by the Arc de Triomphe and up to the Eiffel Tower was  just a great feeling.  It normally takes me half an hour to get from the Champs Elysees to the Eiffel Tower in my car.  But on The L2P we arrive with all the motorbikes and we roll in.   All the public are on the side of the road cheering.  It’s a hell of an achievement to get a rolling closure.”

Former England and Crystal Palace footballer, Geoff Thomas, who has twice ridden the Tour de France route to raise funds to fight blood cancer, was riding The L2P for his Geoff Thomas Foundation.

He said: “It just amazes me.  Every year it seems to get better and better. Last year it was an emotional rollercoaster for the people who did it.  This year some of our riders are battling back from blood cancer and they were riding 100 miles a day.  It was fantastic.  Everyone clubbed together and helped each other out when they were struggling. You make friends for life on this event.  It’s superb.”

Former Formula 1 world champion, Nigel Mansell, was riding The L2P to prepare for his cycle across the UK to raise funds for UK Youth.  Speaking at the Gala Dinner to celebrate The L2P 2010, he said: “It’s an amazing little journey we’ve been on. What can you say about the team of all the helpers and riders, well they are all bloody mad. I feel very privileged to be here tonight.  It’s like the Le Mans 24 hours, you just aim to finish it. What a fantastic event this is. I can definitely say I’ll be back next year.”

Showbiz agent Russ Lindsay was riding for the ICAP DebRA team, raising funds for people who suffer from the genetic skin condition, Epidermolysis Bullosa.   Patients suffer painful blisters at the slightest touch.

At the finish, he said: “I stood here this time last year and I said it was the most awe-inspiring moment I’ve ever had in my life.  I think I’ve just bettered it. It was just better all around.  I was physically fitter which was better.  It was hot but we got here. We raise money for DebRA and we’re going to keep doing it. Every time I say ‘never again’, 365 days later I’m back here. Well done to the whole team - thanks for a great time.”

Former England rugby captain, Will Carling and his team were fundraising for the youth charity, Right To Play.  Carling said: “I’m pleased I did it.  It’s a hell of a challenge, especially when you don’t really get out on a bike much.  It was good fun and it’s the first time I’ve ever been clapped in Paris by French people. It was quite a novel experience.”

The London-Paris 2010, staged by HotChillee, the global media, marketing and events company, is the UK’s premier cyclosportive.  It is recognised as the closest the amateur rider can get to the Tour de France experience.

The ride covers 550km in three days with a rest day in Paris.  The Daily Telegraph recently ranked The L2P as one of the world’s top 25 events, alongside the London and New York marathons.  The event has also been named in the top ten of adventure events for women.

This year’s L2P partners were adidas, Science in Sport, Specialized, Cyclevox, Sigma Sport, Mavic, Ambrosia, Map My Tracks, DHL, C37 and Sportique.

Many L2P riders are now gearing up for the next HotChillee event, September’s Alpine Challenge, a three-day ride which tackles some of the dramatic Tour de France climbs.  The event will be based in the picturesque lakeside town of Annecy and more details of how to enter will be announced later this week.