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Riding with Garmin-Cervelo in the New Forest

| Blog, Cycling Plus, Rides | 23/09/2011 10:27am

It’s amazing what you can find in your email program’s spam filter. That’s where messages get sent that your computer thinks are junk… and it’s where I almost lost the invite to Garmin-Cervelo’s pro cycling team free ride-out.

We rode with these guys...

Turning up in the New Forest I clearly wasn’t the only one to beat the spam filter and win one of the coveted 500 places – the field was packed with roadies getting kitted up by their cars before dodging the cowpats to sign in for their free guided 28-mile ride out through the spectacular Hampshire countryside. You could tell this ride was going to be agricultural.

Just inside the gates lurked the the Garmin-Cervelo team’s own deathstar team bus in menacing black, white and blue. In total contrast, the pro riders themselves where all smiles and informality as they milled around chatting and posing for photos. Dan Martin, Roger Hammond and Andrew Talansky were all spotted, with Hammond and fellow Garmin-Cervelo pro Lucy Martin leading the 100 or so riders in my so-called ’18mph average speed’ group.

18 mph my Fizik Arione. The actual 20 mph average was no surprise really: provide 100 lycra’d up roadies a couple of sociable pro riders and a fast, rolling 28-mile course and they’re bound to take the bait. With a camara helicopter riding alongside to pose for, beautiful quiet roads to enjoy and pros to impress, the result was inevitable. Sprints and break-aways galore. Hammond himself couldn’t resist egging everyone on either as he shouted out impromtu primes along the way: ‘First past the camera car gets my race jersey!’. I might have narrowly missed winning one of his gillets had I not been completely spent after 10 mins on the front in the wind… and been too lazy to jump. It wouldn’t have fitted anyway…

What a ride though! Pros, primes, helicopter chases, suicidal kamakaze cows (everywhere), pigs, and even donkeys… not to mention fantastic scenery and riding company. Oh yes: and the best free goody bag I’ve had in ages – Park Tool bottle opener, Mule Bar, energy gums and chamois cream. And the latest issue of Cycling Plus. What more could you need? All for the price of an email. See you next year.

Check out the video of the day – you might even recognise the bloke in red talking about more ‘exciting’ livestock…

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This entry was posted on Friday, September 23rd, 2011 at 10:27 am and is filed under Blog, Cycling Plus, Rides. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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