Simon Ferguson and Tim Grimble have completed a challenge to cycle 700 miles in 7 days, from Paris to Nice, traversing 7 of the high cols of the Alps, raising over £1,800 for the JWCT. The pair, supported by Peter and Clare Grimble (Tim’s father and sister), covered an incredible 698 miles (1,124 km) during their gruelling cycle, notching up 59 hours 50 minutes in the saddle, and consuming over 17,500 calories.
Tough climbs included the Col de Glandon, 1,472 m of vertical ascent over 21.4 km of road, an average gradient of 7% . . .
The cols reached were Col de la Croix de Fer (2,067m) via Col de Glandon (1,924m), Col de Sarenne (1,989m) via Alpe d'Huez (1,850m), Col du Lauteret (2,058m), Col d'Izoard (2,360m), Col du Vars (2,108m), Col de Cayolle (2,326m), Col de la Couillole (1,678m) and Col St Martin (1,500m).
Simon said “we worked really hard for the first four days and this bought us enough time to pace ourselves through the rest of the Alps. We could have done more but we were lucky to have generally benevolent weather and not a single injury or health problem.” Despite having to divert their route due to several cols being closed due to snow, and facing a hailstorm and torrential rain the team hit the welcome sunshine and beach on the Cote d'Azur within the target time, helped by speeds of up to 73.3 km/h (45.5 mph) on the downward stretches. Simon explained his reasons for supporting the JWCT: “as a life-long beneficiary of the experiences of travel and active pursuits and the good fortune of disability-free health I strongly believe in giving young people, already faced with challenges, the opportunity to realise their potential.” Both Simon and Tim had accompanied Matt Willson, Jeremy’s brother, in the London to Edinburgh challenge for the JWCT in May 2008.