Mike Simpson

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Dolomites Diary 2012 Stage 8


As our hotel is perched on top of a climb we start the day with a great 12km descent. After a few 5km climbs (they seem very short now) we have two very long climbs today, firstly the 26km Branchetto. The open barren windswept highland scenery marks another change of region. The descent down to l read more...

Dolomites Diary 2012 Stage 7


The stage starts quick from the off with the 12km timed Vezzena starting just 3km from our hotel. This is a wonderful road carved into the mountainside and pretty steep, averaging over 10%. A group of three of us battle it up with Rob Waller setting a very strong pace. A long way from the struggl read more...

Dolomites Diary 2012 Stage 6


News filtered through during the rest day that due to a mountain bike race an entire village (10K from our start) was going to be closed the following morning (imagine the uproar in the UK if they closed all the roads into a village just for a race).The Cent Cols team quickly acted on this info a read more...

Dolomites Diary 2012 Stage 5


Another fright 1st thing as my left achilles was unable to make that first step out of bed. I had to walk sideways down to breakfast, unable to put hardly any weight on my left leg and after tucking to a monster breakfast I went in search of physio, Chris. I was worried, so close to tomorrow' read more...

Dolomites Diary 2012 Stage 4


Woke up with a problem… I literally could not open my eyes. Initially dismissing it as just being tired, I had to prise my eyes open. Upon inspection in the bathroom, I realised that my eyes were looking a hell of alot more tired than usual - I'd had an allergic reaction to something ( read more...

Dolomites Diary 2012 Stage 3


Early and tired, we are soon woken with the tough climb of the Cerada, although the stunning rock skylines really do seem to mask the effort of climbing. Next up was the more famous Passo Duran, often used in the Giro d'Italia, although it was the Cibiana, another picturesque climb through th read more...

Dolomites Diary 2012 Stage 2


Stage 2 started much the same way as Stage 1 ended… in torrential rain. A minor course detour meant that all riders had to be escorted through a long by pass tunnel - at this stage my previous relaxed nature continued a bit too much as I had neglected to really study the days profile. Crib read more...

Dolomites Diary 2012 Stage 1


So here we go again… and although I've never stepped foot in the Dolomites it was not a step into the unknown. Having the Cent Cols team guiding us through another journey meant I was organised, excited and very relaxed. As previous years, 2 of the day's climbs would be timed, the read more...

I'm Peaking and I Have Heroes To Thank


Etape Du Tour Act 2 2012 I was always a little unsure when was my sporting peak. In running finishing just a minute behind the Kenyan legend Paul Tergat at a cross country race in Belgium was probably it or at rowing maybe the win (and subsequent disqualification for being 0.1kg overweight!) at the read more...

A Few Less Demons To Worry About


Etape du Tour Act 1 2012 I'm lying on my back in the mud, the rain is lashing down and stinging my eyes as it mixes with sweat. I'm cold but smiling, I've just completed my best training session ever. 15x1km around the rugby pitches and river path in Marlow. In five days I have th read more...

It was all so much easier in a Calibra


The last time I was at the Millbrook Proving Ground it was the early 90s for a fun day test driving Vauxhall cars. We were told we would be red flagged if we exceeded 110mph on the 5 lane banked 2 mile oval high speed test track, needless to say there was a lot of red flags that day. My abiding memo read more...

Cent Cols memories 2011 - Wheel Sucking the Pailheres


At the start of stage one I had singled out two riders who would figure in the king of the mountains title, Belgium Matthias Meul and Israeli Lenny Engelhardt but it was the American Tim Smith who proved to be the real handful and no more so than on day 8. I had built up a good lead but that coul read more...

Cent Cols memories 2009 - Feed stop revamp


We were extremely well looked after by the organisers of the first ever cent cols challenge but by stage 7 the food at the morning feed stop had become very repetitive, eating the same make of cake/biscuits day in day out had started to make the stop very mundane and dull. The pleasure was fading read more...

With A Bit Of Luck......


"Be careful it's very icy in Marlow" But Dad I'm in Dorset!........he knows I am, I spoke to him last night. Even though I'm approaching 42, he is still worrying about me, (bless) and waking me up, phoning to warn me about the road conditions 130 miles away! Oh well there go read more...

Perverse Pleasures


Etape du Tour Act 2 2011 Sunday's 7 hours of cycling proved to be undoubtedly the hardest thing I've ever done in 24 years of sport. The route from Issoire to St Flour was billed as 130miles of tough riding through the beautiful Central Massif but atrocious weather conditions and a woefully inadequ read more...

Turning Yourself Inside Out


Etape du Tour Act 1 2011 The perception of a short 70mile stage (compared to the usual 100plus routes) instills a ferocious appetite for keeping the pace very high and so it transpired from the off. The first 10miles averaged 34.5 mph and then the climbing began. The col de Telegraphe often o read more...

Ardennes Week April 2010


Saturday 5pm........last stop of the day, legs have just about had it, struggle to dismount, collapse in a cafe, everyone is shattered but it's Graeme's round and the waitress sure looks pretty, so everyone is smiling, life is sweet. A few minutes later we are back to it, no easy finish to this week read more...
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