It’s has been a while since my last post, so I wanted to come back with something a little special.
I first met Lorena Jones in January 2015 at the launch of Ride the Trafalgar Way, at Fuller's Inns 'The Admiralty', on Trafalgar Square. At the time little did I realise that less than a year earlier Lorena had had a potentially life changing cycling crash, whilst riding to Paris and that 2 years later, in July 2017, she would become the first female to ride our 500km Trafalgar Way route, from Falmouth to the Admiralty, on Whitehall, with a ride time of 21 hours 21 minutes.
Lorena’s story is nothing short of astonishing. It was only whilst I was reviewing the post 2017 Ride the Trafalgar Way interviews, whilst editing our short film ‘The Way’, charting Lorena’s 24 hour journey, did I fully appreciate what an epic achievement Lorena had undertaken.
Why have I highlight ‘I had grandstand tickets’ (see the below link to Lorena's original blog)? Well, it's because in the summer of 2014 Lorena was cycling to Paris and I was also travelling to Paris, but by plane, because we both had grandstand tickets to see the final stage of Le Tour.
I had spent the previous 8 months travelling, each week, up and down from my home in Wiltshire to Leeds, in Yorkshire. I was lucky enough to be fulfilling a dream to work on Le Tour and I was even luckier that it happened to be Le Grand Départ.
I was travelling to Paris with my wife for a unforgettable weekend away. It is fair to say it was 'not your average break'! We had managed to find a hotel overlooking the Arc de Triomphe and former colleagues, who had also been involved with the delivery of Le Grand Départ, were also travelling to Paris.
We had managed to get our hands on some grandstand tickets on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, for the final stage of Le Tour and the inaugural La Course (a one day professional female road race, championed by Le Tour Entire) . We were going to celebrate what will go down in history as the summer Yorkshire welcomed the world of cycling!
Meanwhile whilst we were enjoying the atmosphere and catching up with some of our new ASO friends, Lorena was many kilometres away, having her own unforgettable weekend and making new friendships for a very different reason! During her ride to Paris Lorena had experienced a horrific crash resulting in 'not your average break'.
Lorena’s story, which will play out over several parts, is definitely worth a read and I'm sure the following instalments, over the coming weeks, will also prove to be equally worthy of a fasinating read. It’s truly an inspirational story of self belief and above all of guts and sheer determination. Chapeau Lorena!
I had grandstand tickets for the final of the Tour de France