The Ride

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Day 1

Distance 78.1 miles
Cumulative Distance 78.1 miles
Elevation Gain 1262 metres
Cumulative Elevation 1262 metres

Our Grand Depart sees us leave Barcelona, passing some of the sites for suitable photo ops/proof we were actually there, and heading North East for Girona. Although the overall climbing for the day is only 3000 ft, the vast majority is concentrated in the first 30 miles, which should prove a good challenge to start the ride and a great lunch target before a steady 10 mile decent and then a relatively flat cruise to Ginona, bar the odd lump in the road!

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Day 2

Distance 53.27 miles
Cumulative Distance 131.36 miles
Elevation Gain 1122.12 metres
Cumulative Elevation 2384.12 metres

On the face of it a relatively easy day, with a slightly shorter milage as we aim to stay with family in Argeles, with a charity pub quiz for #1000milesforhumphrey taking place in the evening. At sub 60 miles and 3600 feet this should hopefully be relatively pleasant, and a good way to ease into the routine of daily riding.

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Day 3

Distance 81.22 miles
Cumulative Distance 212.58 miles
Elevation Gain 1557.49 metres
Cumulative Elevation 3941.61 metres

Day three may well to prove to be the first real challenging day of the ride: Over 75 miles and 5000 feet of climbing after a pub quiz will be an experience some of the relay riders might be grateful to be missing! Having said that, the first 30 miles are as flat as they come, although the next 20 more than make up for this, with about 2500 feet compressed into those miles. Thankfully the last 30 are a gradual (and well earned) descent as we head just north of the town of Limoux, where we're lucky enough to be hosted by riders family (thanks Moma Gillian!)

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Day 4

Distance 87.02 miles
Cumulative Distance 299.6 miles
Elevation Gain 581.38 metres
Cumulative Elevation 4522.99 metres

After a tough day 3, there's no letting up for the team - Day 4 sees us with another 80 miles, although today is a relatively pleasant 2000 feet of climbing, most of that's the first 10 miles. If we make it through that we should be ok until Grisoles!

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Day 5

Day 5 (Plus rest day 6)

Distance 95.7 miles
Cumulative Distance 395.31 miles
Elevation Gain 708.5 metres
Cumulative Elevation 5231.5 metres

Leaving Grisoles we head further West, aiming for the relatively flat coast of France. This is another long day, and the end of a tough block for the team, with 100 miles of riding planned. Thankfully most of it is flat, and so hopefully fast and easy, although there's definitely a sting in the tail of this day. After 5 days riding and nearly 400 miles ridden, tomorrow sees the teams first well-earned rest day!

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Day 7

Distance 61.92 miles
Cumulative Distance 457.23 miles
Elevation Gain 354.25 metres
Cumulative Elevation 5585.75 metres

After a well-earned rest, we head for the French Atlantic coast, with the EV1 European cycle route running North/South. The end of todays 60 mile flat day sees the team setting up camp at the brilliantly named Colours of The Ferret campsite, and we're all very excited to find this colourful chap!

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Day 8

Distance 70.6 miles
Cumulative Distance 527.83 miles
Elevation Gain 302.04 metres
Cumulative Elevation 5887.79 metres

Heading North along the coast, we're hoping for an easy day today before the difficulty starts ratcheting up over the next few days! With Day 7 at under 80 miles and 1000 feet of climbing, this should be a pleasant day on the bikes, provided the coastal wind plays ball!

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Day 9

Distance 77.47 miles
Cumulative Distance 605.3 miles
Elevation Gain 494.59 metres
Cumulative Elevation 6382.38 metres

The start of a tough block for the riders, this is an 80 mile day (although with only 2000 feet of climbing). The last rest day will no-doubt be starting to feel like a distant memory, and there's another 300 miles before the next rest day across the channel.

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Day 10

Distance 81.7 miles
Cumulative Distance 687 miles
Elevation Gain 869.67 metres
Cumulative Elevation 7252.05 metres

Really starting to notch off the miles now, we head north for just over 80 miles towards North Western France. This is another 80+ mile day, with a few more challenges as it's nearly 3000 feet of climbing.

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Day 11

Distance 97.85 miles
Cumulative Distance 784.85 miles
Elevation Gain 1401.74 metres
Cumulative Elevation 8653.79 metres

Day 10 and Day 11 are the last massive challenges of the continent, with a rest day just the other side of an overnight ferry trip. Day 10 sees the team riding over 90 miles and 4000 feet of climbing, turning away from the coast and heading directly towards the ferry port at Caen.

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Day 12

Distance 91.78 miles
Cumulative Distance 876.62 miles
Elevation Gain 1089.8 metres
Cumulative Elevation 9743.59 metres

The last day of the longest single block of riding without a rest day, by the end of Day 11 the riders will have covered over 850 miles! Day 11 will be mentally as well as physically tough, as the ferry across to England won't wait if we're late. Thankfully we'll be getting some kip on the ferry trip over, arriving into England just in time for breakfast!

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Day 13

Distance 26.07 miles
Cumulative Distance 902.7 miles
Elevation Gain 536.61 metres
Cumulative Elevation 10280.2 metres

A short hop over the South Downs (hopefully via a nice coffee shop) and we set up camp in some green and pleasant land just outside Winchester for something approaching a rest day. Here's hoping the legs still have the 25 miles or so it'll take us to get there!

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Day 14

Distance 70.36 miles
Cumulative Distance 973.05 miles
Elevation Gain 1077.57 metres
Cumulative Elevation 11357.77 metres

From Winchester to Cirencester, this days riding sees the team retracing the steps (wheel tracks?) from the first charity ride Joel did for RMCH, even staying in the same B&B (and hopefully finding the same pub). This is a fairly lumpy 65 mile day, but the end is definitely in sight now!

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Day 15

Distance 59.73 miles
Cumulative Distance 1032.79 miles
Elevation Gain 879.21 metres
Cumulative Elevation 12236.98 metres

Across the beautiful Cotswolds and through historic Worcester, todays ride ends 60 miles North of Cirencester, just past Kidderminster.

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Day 16

Distance 73.1 miles
Cumulative Distance 1105.89 miles
Elevation Gain 1042.32 metres
Cumulative Elevation 13279.3 metres

THE END IS IN SIGHT. Heading what will surely feel like a 'measly' 70 miles north with a paltry 3300 feet of climbing, our penultimate day ends just outside Manchester in the picturesque Delamere forest.

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Day 17

Distance 35.82 miles
Cumulative Distance 1141.71 miles
Elevation Gain 327.82 metres
Cumulative Elevation 13607.12 metres

Timed to allow the team to arrive for RMCH's "Be Seen In Green" spectacular and close enough to Manchester so that friends, colleagues and people involved in Harry's care can join if they're able, our last day sees us tackle 33 miles through Cheshire lanes we've come to call home over the last year of training. Coming into Manchester along the Bridgewater Canal and up to RMCH, this won't be a fast day on tired legs, but it'll definitely have felt worth it!

 
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