DAY 9 Dallaglio Cycle Slam – Tips from the top

By Andrew Croker

Lapalisse – Nevers. 112km. Done: 1085 km. To go: 1803km. Weather: OK. Light wind, snow flurries, damp.

Some tired legs after fighting the mistral yesterday, but lovely French backroads today, with quiet Saturday traffic.

In eight days of riding we have averaged about 135km. Over the next 20 it's 90km, which sounds good. But 133km tomorrow, our longest day left, into Chablis.

Nasty crash today. Our group tucked in behind Bonzo's, which mostly comprises former Cambridge varsity players. Opponents, and members of the opposite sex, can attest to Adam Bidwell being a big boy. And on the coach this morning Joanna had been 'treated' to him applying Sudo-cream to that well known cycling trouble spot… Anyway, he touched a wheel and went down hard on his shoulder, but insisted on going on.

David Millar just sent us an email. Makes our problems sound trivial: "Food poisoning the day before it kicked off, savage terrain and weather for three days. 215km hilly in non-stop cold rain Thursday. The lights went out after about 140km and I groveled the remainder in.” Sounds like they have made it really hard this year.

"I got some brilliant clips this morning. Thor Hushovd, Andreas Kloden, Robbie Mcewen, Heinrich Haussler, Sylvain Chavanel, Andre Griepel, Samuel Sanchez AND Alberto Contador. All holding the jersey and wishing good luck."

And WE have Rafa Ibanez tomorrow… and Lee Dixon coming back for more. He's hooked!

On we go.


Lawrence Dallaglio’s Cycle Slam is a quest to pedal over 2,800 kilometres to all Six Nations stadia in support of the Dallaglio Foundation and Sport Relief. A 250-strong squad of challengers is cycling to Rome, Paris, Twickenham, Cardiff, Dublin and Edinburgh to raise over £1million for these worthy causes. Garmin has donated Edge cycle computers to the many celebrities taking to two wheels along the way.