2018 Granfondo Yunnan...Part 2

Ni Hao again from the amazing Yunnan and as promised we continue to report back from the 2018 edition of the Granfondo Yunnan organised by Beijing based company Nordic Ways.

Part of the Old Town of Teng Chong.

Part of the Old Town of Teng Chong.

Nearly 1000 riders arrived here the day before the stage in Teng Chong.

The logistic of Nordic Ways have been amazing especially to move around so many riders including bikes. Jade & her team have made our transfers smooth with great communication & collaboration.

Riders were able to travel in busses and bicycles were travelling well packed in the SF Express Trucks.

The entourage of riders at the service station.

The entourage of riders at the service station.

As true 101% Belgian, Kris van de Velde, race director of the event has brought to the plate for the riders an amazing 185km with a total ascent of nearly 2600 metres where included all kind of terrains.

Kris selected the route to give the riders great memories enabling them to race & ride along cobble stones, gravels section, road sections along the volcanos and amazing little villages

A bit of landslide happen recently but riders were still able to ride through.

A bit of landslide happen recently but riders were still able to ride through.

Some of the riders were tamed by this stage that on completion this was vanished by the euphoric state & joy of accomplishment.Unfortunately due to unhealthy body state I had to return to the start just after only 30Km.Please see route file here.

Along the route stage 3

Along the route stage 3

The sceneries enrolee were speechless.

The sceneries enrolee were speechless.

The day after we travelled to Dali to do the “Lake Ride” at an elevation of 1975 metres sea level and good training practice for all of the riders living at sea level.

Certainly as soon as the start shot gun was fired the pace was hard & we were all gasping for air,but after a while it was all back to the normal riveting hard. Unfortunately we had tactic to get Tom in the top 20 of his age group,but at km 18 at a speed of over 45km/h he was pushed into the concrete trail making him flying on the side of the road with just few bruises & 2 punctured tyres.

After admiring his crash I stopped and helped him out,he was in a bit of shocked but we had amazing views to cheer him up.After that the peloton was gone and for us there was only left to ride around the lake.

Temple in the middle of the Erhai Lake.

Temple in the middle of the Erhai Lake.

In the evening Mark & Zhang took us out to try a local cuisine which included of an amazing fish soup ideal for our bodies.

Zhang our new friend..A great cyclist & great helper with his language skills.

Zhang our new friend..A great cyclist & great helper with his language skills.

Ciao for now from Lijiang & if you want more info visit the event page here

to be continued…….


Granfondo Yunnan 2018...Part 1..

Ni Hao !

Ciao & Welcome to China in the beautiful & colourful Yunnan area.

A view of Mangshi from the Temple.

A view of Mangshi from the Temple.

For me is the second time attending the lovely Granfondo Yunnan thanks to the great relationship with Niclas Hellqvist & Kris Van de Velde from Nordic Ways.

We(Tom & I) arrived from London on Friday in the local town of Manghsi where Kris picked us up from the airport to go to the hotel followed with a lovely catch up chat to inform me of all the new changes are in place this year edition since 3 years ago when i have last attended.

The Start Line!!

The Start Line!!

The Saturday,which I was supposed to be home due to wife’s birthday, I was instead a prepping the bikes and get few bits & pieces(cit A.P) sorted before the 8.5KM Prologue (Individual Climb Time Trial) in the afternoon.

As expected knowing the great qualities of Kris to pick and choose for his events only the best routes, that in the afternoon we were going to have a go at something peculiar & stunning.

The start was by the side of a lake next to a dam,then we had to race around the perimeter of this lake with some “mangia e bevi” before hitting a nice 1.1 Km tree covered climb with 8% average incline finishing at the top by the entrance of a temple. Some of the serious boys here racing for the prizes made it in a stunning pace.

Saturday night local dinner in Mangshi Square

Saturday night local dinner in Mangshi Square

Stage 1, on Sunday was the so called “ Border Ride” ,105km race to the town of Ruili coasting along the border with Myanmar(Burma) and finishing at the border check point. Due to the location & altitude the climate is tropical, where trees,plants & flower grow freely all year round to enable us to experience an enrich sceneries with plenty of colours & smells.

Lunch Stop.

Lunch Stop.

After the stage some of us went together for lunch to an amazing restaurant.The groups of us was a mix of 14 riders from 4 continents and 13 nationalities.Taking part at Nordic ways events are always great experience,because thanks to our passion of cycling individuals from different origins comes together for the sport.

Dinner time.

Dinner time.

Stage 2,on Monday we start & finished from the border check point routing us through the city of Ruili before hitting only after 9km from the start a nice 16Km climb with an average of 5% with peaks up to 10%. The ascent was pretty via little villages & nature before reaching the peak and throwing us descending into a false plain with a misty & foggy atmosphere. Followed by that we had at km 56 a climb for 10KM with an average of 6% before riveting in a serious of roller coasting hills taking us back to the finish line…

Tom being chased.

Tom being chased.

Kris has been good to all of us participant giving us a rest day,so we could rest but also move from Ruili to Tengchong for the Queen’s stage(Stage 3) of the event with 185km with a total climb of 3000m.

Teng Chong at Sunset.

Teng Chong at Sunset.

For now is Ciao & Arrivederci from Yunnan on Sunday the 11th of November part 2 will be published…



World Championships 2019...quick release...

The full routes and race schedule for the Yorkshire2019 UCI RoadWorld Championships have been officially unveiled in Innsbruck (Austria).

The racing starts on Saturday 21st September with Para-cycling events before the first UCI World Champions are crowned the following day with the maiden Team Time Trial Mixed Relay. This event will replace the separate men’s and women’s trade team time trials, and will be contested by national teams consisting of three male riders and three female riders. The male athletes will ride first and the women will replace them on the road as soon as the second male rider has crossed the finish line. Final timings will be taken when the second female rider crosses the finish line, with the fastest team declared the winner.

The Yorkshire 2019 programme will continue through until Sunday 29 Septemberth with Individual Time Trials and Road Races for Junior (Under 18), Under 23 and Elite male and female riders.

Harrogate will serve as the destination town for every race, with start locations across the county to ensure the Championships reach as many people as possible.

The full race programme is as follows:

Day 1: Saturday 21 September: Beverley-Tadcaster-Wetherby-Harrogate Circuit – Para-cycling Road Races (C1 Event)

Day 2: Sunday 22 September: Harrogate Circuit – Team Time Trial Mixed Relay – 28km (two circuits)

Day 3: Monday 23 September: Harrogate Circuit – Women Junior Individual Time Trial – 14km (one circuit) and Men Junior Individual Time Trial - 28km (two circuits)

Day 4: Tuesday 24 September: Ripon to Harrogate – Men Under 23 Individual Time Trial – 32.5km (route plus one circuit) and Women Elite Individual Time Trial – 32.5km (route plus one circuit)

Day 5: Wednesday 25 September: Northallerton to Harrogate – Men Elite Individual Time Trial - 54km (route only)

Day 6: Thursday 26 September: Richmond to Harrogate – Men Junior Road Race – 144.5km (route plus three circuits)

Day 7: Friday 27 September: Doncaster to Harrogate – Women Junior Road Race – 91.5km (route only) and Men Under 23 Road Race – 192.5km (route plus three circuits)

Day 8:Saturday 28 September: Bradford to Harrogate – Women Elite Road Race – 149.5km (route plus three circuits)

Day 9:Sunday 29 September: Leeds to Harrogate – Men Elite Road Race – 284.5km (route plus seven circuits)

The 2018 Championships are currently taking place in Innsbruck-Tirol and Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity DL led a packed presentation of the Yorkshire 2019 event on Wednesday evening. He was joined on stage by UCI President David Lappartient, British Cycling CEO Julie Harrington, and Great Britain riders Alex Dowsett and Hayley Simmonds. Prime Minister Theresa May concluded the presentation via video message, lending the UK Government’s full support.

The Championships are receiving unprecedented financial backing with the UK Government and UK Sport committing £12 million to deliver a truly world-class event. A further £15 million has been allocated to develop entry-level cycling facilities across England. This commitment means that the 2019 UCI Road World Championships will deliver a legacy that will transform the sporting fabric of the country.

Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity DL said: “It is a great honour to be hosting the 2019 UCI Road World Championships. This will be the most inclusive and diverse Championships ever held and cement Yorkshire’s place as a world-class cycling destination.

“The countdown is now well and truly on and there will be many people in Yorkshire and across Britain who are looking forward to this iconic event.  We can promise huge, passionate crowds, stunning scenery and epic racing.

“We have worked hard with the UCI to design a challenging and spectacular range of routes which take in all four corners of the county. We are thrilled to be able to share these routes and are sure they will make for exciting racing.”

UCI President David Lappartient said: “After the Tour de France Grand Départ in 2014 and the consequent creation of the legacy Tour de Yorkshire, this magnificent region has left us in no doubt that the 2019 UCI Road World Championships will be a memorable occasion.
“The competitions in Yorkshire will open with the new Team Time Trial Mixed Relay, a UCI initiative that will replace the trade team time trial and will see men and women competing together for their nation. I cannot wait to witness this first-ever Team Time Trial Mixed Relay, which is part of the UCI’s drive to further increase the attractiveness of our Road World Championships, encourage gender equality, and showcase National Federations and their riders.

“In addition, the 2019 UCI Road World Championships will be taking place less than a year out from the Olympic Games, with riders seeking to earn precious qualification points for Tokyo 2020. This will add to the excitement of the racing on the roads of Yorkshire.”

Yorkshire 2019 Chair Chris Pilling said: “We have pledged to deliver an inclusive, innovative and inspiring UCI Road World Championships that brings the world closer. We are therefore enormously excited to be the first host to integrate Para-cycling into the programme and the first host to deliver the brand-new Team Time Trial Mixed Relay.

“These races will help deliver on our pledge and will get the Championships off to a flying start. Every day the riders will visit new places and encounter different challenges in what will be an unforgettable festival of bike racing.”

Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport said: “This event is going to be one of the highlights of 2019 as the best cyclists in the world go head to head on Yorkshire's stunning rolling hills. It is fantastic that inclusivity is at the heart of these Championships with a day of world-class para-cycling and the new Team Time Trial Mixed Relay event introduced. We want to encourage everybody to get involved in sport and events such as this can inspire many people to do just that."

British Cycling CEO Julie Harrington said: “We believe that cycling has the ability to take on some of the biggest challenges facing our society, and the legacy and inspiration that we can harness from next year’s Championships in Yorkshire is another vital step on our journey to transform Britain into a great cycling nation.

“We’re determined to ensure that the 2019 UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire doesn’t just change the lives of those collecting a rainbow jersey, but the lives of the children, families and everyone who discovers – or rediscovers – the simple pleasure of riding a bike as a result.”

Full details on the Yorkshire 2019 UCI Road World Championships can be found at http://Yorkshire2019.co.uk

Le Tour De Vacherin 2018

HHHHHolidays for some of us have now finished, taking us all back to the usual work routines.

During the summer I had the pleasure to work alongside with Vacherin for a great challenge.

Here below I let Owner and Managing director Phil Roker explain a bit more:


Phil over to you:

This year marks the 15th anniversary of Vacherin opening its first ever contract at Imagination - a contract which we are still proud to look after to this day!

To commemorate our 15 years of operation, a small band of ultra-fit(!) team members are going to complete an epic cycle journey, from our office in Hatton Garden to the home of Vacherin, in the Jura region of Switzerland - a total of 1,065km/665miles, with lots of ups and downs, with the aim of raising £15,000 for our chosen charity, Luminary Bakery.

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Luminary Bakery have been Vacherin’s partner charity for 12 months. We support this social enterprise in east London, which offers opportunities for women who have experienced social or economicdisadvantage, to build their skills and improve their futures.

In 2017, Luminary Bakery opened their very own café in StokeNewington, launched a stall at Borough Market and began a partnership with Ben & Jerry’s. They also launched a mentoring scheme which Vacherin took part in, pairing professional female volunteers withbakery graduates to help them with their next steps.

37 women have now graduated from Luminary’s programmes with88% going into employment, further training or enterprise. Five new businesses have been created by these entrepreneurial graduates.

Leaving London on September 8th, we will ride almost 100 miles per dayto arrive at The Museum of Vacherin (yes, it really exists!) in the small town of Les Charbonnieres on the day that the rst Vacherin cheese is released.



At the moment the women at the bakery are sharing wooden spoons and mixers and are prepping on a domestic kitchen table! With the money raised, we would be able
to fund this large project which would include knocking down a wall for more space, plumbing in a handwash sink and running electrics to hobs, this way each woman would have everything she needs to train in the most professional environment possible, preparing them for professional.

To achieve the £15,000 target that we have set ourselves, we hope tosecure your support through both an online auction and our JustGivingpage.

Our charity page is now up and running - click here to donate

Our auction has also started - click here to visit our auction page

These are the lots that you can currently bid on:

  • -  A Vacherin Chef for the evening (at home or at work) with catering support from either Phil Roker, Simon Macfarlane or Tom Rule. Dinner for 6 (excluding alcohol) Choose from four of our seniorVacherin Chefs including Steven Lickley, Masterchef Finalist

  • -  Dinner for four at Robin Gill’s restaurant - Sorella

  • -  Manchester United football shirt signed by football legend Andy Cole

  • -  2 tickets to the HSBC World Seven Series, Twickenham June 2019

  • -  18 holes of golf at the stunning Championship Golf Course at The Grove

  • -  2 x 500g T bone steaks

  • -  A year’s supply of Extract coffee of your choice to your home

  • -  Afternoon tea for two at The Luminary Bakery

  • -  A day at Appledore with Block and Cleaver farmers and a turkey delivered at Christmas

  • -  Hire of a cocktail barman to create three tasty cocktails for up to 30 people

  • -  One whole Kent lamb

  • -  Whole salmon lleting workshop with a whole salmon to take home with you

    We would love you to forward the details onto your work colleagues and join us in achieving our goal.

We are proud to have helped Phil & his team in providing the cycling clothing for the adventure.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you good luck on your journey.

Stay Safe & See you on your return.


Your Legal Friend

Our friends at Legal asked me to talk about safety for cyclists.

Therefore I am happy to introduce you:

S.E.A.  = Safety Education Action

The SaddleDrunk Method


Every day there are numbers of accidents worldwide involving cyclists.  Here in London, unfortunately, we still have many accidents and some of them are unfortunately fatal.

In my opinion, first of all we need to understand the meaning of the word “ SAFETY  “. Yes you can Google it to find the exact meaning but it depends how you interpret those definitions.

I think there is an unique meaning to “safety on the road” and it is to harmoniously share the roads with all the other users. Mutual understanding and respect it is an essential part of road safety. Each road users, depending on the vehicle, has different requirements in terms of speed, spaces, blind spots etc and we should always be aware of it.


Also, it is very important to avoid reacting to any challenges or confrontations that you might encounter from other road users. It is important to remember that this might end up putting you on the wrong side of the law.

Hence, “ EDUCATION “ is a key factor. This is the “ GOLDEN KEY “ to prevent accidents happening.


Because by reading & understanding the road codes and signs you will be aware of what you are allowed or not allowed to do while riding your bike on a public road. This will make you an educated cyclist who rides safely and in respect of the codes and other road users.

Awareness courses should be available to all the road users with chances to swap roles on the road to understand more the various dangers for both parties.

Accident free roads is in the public interest and I believe that awareness courses should be organised and funded by local councils or any other agencies that could benefit from it.

Finally, the last and hardest part of the S.E.A. method is “ACTION “.

It should be the easiest point, but the human being by default becomes complaisant after a short period of time.

A little explanation for the latter point is that when we attend courses, we learn something new which we practice immediately. Unfortunately, we don’t always continue practising it and we can slip into bad habits.

Therefore we all need to act responsibly while on the road which means putting into practice all the above, always remembering we are sharing the road with many other users, always following road codes and refraining form confrontations. Let’s just remember that, as per the “Second Law of Newton”, to each action there is a reaction.

Even if you follow all of the above sometimes things can go wrong anyway… Our friends at Your Legal Friend can support you on any cycle crash claim https://www.yourlegalfriend.com/types-of-claim/road-accidents/cycling-accidents/

Be Safe on the Road We Only Live Once.