Members of the #dentistsinlycra team arrived in Switzerland yesterday, eagerly anticipating the exciting journey ahead.
As you all know, more than twenty cyclists have accepted the continental challenge to cycle from Basel, Switzerland back to our UK offices in Crawley. During the next six days, members of the Straumann UK team along with friends and family, hope to raise significant funds for the charities Bridge2Aid and CLAPA community.
In the early hours of this morning (Tuesday 19th Sep), our team embarked on Stage 1 from Basel to Epinal (98 miles). Many have stated that the first day has been signified as the “Queen Stage” of Straumann UK’s Basel to Crawley Charity Bike Ride.
Our team of cyclists confronted their first challenge of the ride, the epic climb of the Ballon D’Alsace. The mountain is officially the first ever Tour de France mountain climb that was used in the 1905 race. The climb was 13.2 km long, gains 678m in height and has an average gradient of 5.1%. Between 4 and 9km it’s stepper at an average of over 8%. We can only wonder if the experience was still the same as it was 108 years ago!
Above: Top gear – Sue Karran, Manan Ltd, sporting Straumann’s yellow sportswear for being the highest fundraiser!
Many cyclists believe the following quote was quite fitting on what they experienced. Tour Organiser Henri Desgrange declared in 1905 that: “…the ascent of the Ballon d'Alsace … was one of the most thrilling sights I have ever witnessed, and confirms my opinion that man's courage knows no limits.”
Stopping for lunch at the top of the Ballon D’Alsace at the Grand Hotel du Sommet. The panoramic views certainly gave our cyclists the feeling of accomplishment on their first day. But realisation soon hit as they remembered that long climb also means a long descent!
Above: The preparation dinner the night before…
After the monumental challenge of a mountain behind them, the #dentistsinlycra team will be travelling beside the Moselle River to Epinal. Once they’ve reached Epinal, they’ll stay over for the night at the Mercure Hotel. With Stage 1 completed and 98 miles crossed off their list, they’ll venture early tomorrow morning towards St Dizier!
Bring on Stage 2!
Straumann are ultimately aiming to raise over £30,000 for Bridge2Aid and CLAPA and have so far raised £20,764. Donations can be made online via http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=Straumann&isTeam=true