Earlier in the year we brought you rider interviews with some brilliant female cyclists who were in training for the Club Peloton pedElle 2016 cycling challenge. The event was a great success, which raised a brilliant £25,000 for Club Peloton’s principal beneficiary, children’s charity Coram.
The cycling challenge, which was open to women working in the property industry, was a resounding success for the cyclists as well as the charity. The three-day pedElle 2016 event was one of extremes: extremes in the weather, extremes in cycling terrain, and extremes in emotions.
25 women from the UK property industry, including Sam, Sarah and Yvonne (who you may remember from our rider interviews earlier this year) set off from the picturesque city of Salzburg on 24th May. The riders faced the prospect of a challenging 425km ride over three days. (At nearly 90 miles a day, that’s some serious exertion).
The first day was one of the most challenging rides that most of the cyclists had ever ridden: a 26km long mountain climb over Austria’s highest pass, the 2,500m high Grossglockner pass. Things weren’t helped by the weather; it may have been warm and sunny in the valley bottom, but it grew progressively colder and wetter as the elevation increased. A snow storm at the top finally put paid to the rest of the day when the mountain pass was closed by the local patrol.
The second day, from Lienz to Udine, featured two tough climbs – but the weather was, at least, more cyclist-friendly. The satisfaction of riding to the top of another pass and crossing the Italian border was rewarded with cheering, hugs and tears of joy – followed by a sweeping descent in the sunshine.
The third day, from Udine to Venice, was a marked contrast: a completely flat run into Mestre, buffeted by crosswinds and headwinds. Buoyed by the tantalising promise of Venice and the Architecture Biennale, the pedElle group arrived tired but jubilant.
This year’s pedElle saw the riders face personal demons and incredible challenges but not only did the pre-event training pay off for everyone, but the support and camaraderie that everyone provided for each other throughout meant that everyone completed the ride.
Yvonne summed up her experience, “If you want to experience new depths of confidence brought about my pushing yourself to the limit whilst being supported by a peloton of outstanding women in scenery that will take your breath way – you have to join us next year!”