This year’s King’s Cross Cycle to MAPIC had a lot to live up to. Not only did it need to put last year’s memories as ‘the windy one’ to bed, it was also the third and final year of King’s Cross at the helm as title sponsor.
Mercifully, both the weather and the wind were much kinder this year, and although there were breezy days, no one was blown off their bikes this year.
I was looking forward to this year’s ride, joining 12 crew and 43 men and women from the retail property industry for the departure in Girona. It was good to reconnect with fellow crew members and repeat riders and meet new faces. As tends to be the way, the first day (a very early flight and transfer from Barcelona to Girona) is a mixture of socialising, getting prepped and trying to catch up on missed sleep.
I was there to provide social media coverage, working with Club Peloton’s Charlotte to keep followers at home up-to-date with what was happening on the ride, and providing a short update for the website at the end of the day. Matt the photographer sent us professional images from the back of his media moto which we seeded out via Instagram and Twitter.
A Close Team
The evening before departure, we were treated to drinks at cyclists’ café La Fabrica before the largest pre-departure meal ever, and I snuck off for an early night once dinner was done. The first day, the sun was out as we headed towards the Spanish coast and from there to the border with France. From the off, the group was friendly and supportive. This was noticeable both off the bike, with the great teamwork taking place amongst the peloton frequently commented on, and also on it, when I joined the peloton out on the road for a stage after lunch.
From the off, the group gelled, keeping together even through the relentless rolling climbs of the Mediterranean coastline on the first day – a road that generally splits the group. On the second day, I joined the peloton for the morning climb, while an unforeseen restaurant closure saw the crew creating a magnificent lunchtime picnic at a mere half hour’s notice.
It’s all about teamwork making the dream work on any Club Peloton ride and day 3 confirmed that the infamous Camargue headwinds were going to make that day’s cycling difficult, but the group worked together to get the kms ticked off. I joined them for a stage and it was definitely speedy! I also joined the peloton again for the start of the fourth and final day, which kicks off with a long pre-dawn climb out of Aix-en-Provence. Once that was done, it was time for me to join the crew and go ahead of the riders in Cannes, to make sure that everything was ready for their arrival early that afternoon.
A Big Success
It was a really fun year this year – everyone enjoyed it, whether they were old hands or new to the event. We talk about camaraderie and teamwork a lot but it really does exist on these rides, and this one especially. Whether it’s tunes on a climb or a chat on the flat, it’s amazing to see everyone in it together, doing what needs to be done to get 700km dispatched as enjoyably as possible.