Philip Hesketh, an Audlem resident, has contacted Audlem Online to provide an update on how he did on his ride on the 10th July when he completed a stage of this year's Tour de France. It was an Alpine stage, probably the toughest of the 20 Tour de France stages and is a huge event called the Etape du Tour. He competed to raise money for the Royal Marsden Cancer Campaign.
Thousands of cyclists started off from the French town of Gap in the Alps on a 187km, or 117 mile, ride across the mountains. They scaled three huge peaks finishing with a dizzying climb up 12kms of hairpin roads leading to the summit of Alpe d'Huez. Philip finished 3023 out of 7500 riders in a time just over 9hrs, and 10 seconds behind Jason Queally, Olympic Cycling Gold Medalist from Athens. He raised £2000 through sponsorship for the Royal Marsden Cancer Campaign.
Philip says the ride itself was extremely tough. Temperatures were above 35 degrees for most of the day. Alpe D'Huez was a killer, he says, and the 8 miles to the summit took him 1 hour 52m.
Philip was asked recently by Judy Benson at Audlem Tourist Information Centre to think of some cycle routes based on Audlem – slightly less strenuous than the Etape de Tour! Although not used to scaling it down to shorter distances – his rides tend to be a bit longer – he suggests one that takes in Audlem, Norton in Hales, Adderley and Wilkesley.
Cycle out on the Woore road before turning right on to Paddock Lane at the top of the hill out of Audlem. Then right at the T junction and stay on that lane all the way to Norton in Hales. Turn right at Norton and head to Adderley. At Adderley take two left turns towards Market Drayton before turning right after half a mile towards Wilkesley (where the Drayton road swings left at the Lodge). Fork right in less than a mile and go to Wilkesley where you turn right again and follow the lane back to Swanbach and Coxbank. Turn left to return to Audlem.
Philip also has some lengthier ones for more adventurous cyclists which we will publish in the future..
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