James prepares for another epic Euro cycle ride

Photo Neil Cross
James Dent of Blacko is taking part in an epic bike ride from London to Venice
Photo Neil Cross James Dent of Blacko is taking part in an epic bike ride from London to Venice

A Blacko cyclist is once again preparing to pedal 1,000 miles in 10 days for charity.

James Dent (29) is putting in the training miles as he and a mini-peloton of 15 cyclists ride from London to Venice in September with the aim of raising £100,000 to be split equally between Alzheimer’s Research and Cancer Research UK.

On the trip, James, of Gisburn Road, will be joined by his brother John (31), who lives in London, which will see the group tackle some of the toughest terrain in Europe.

The epic route takes the cyclists through 10 different countries and includes 19,000m of climbing, the equivalent of climbing up Mount Everest from sea level twice.

The riders leave London for Harwich on day one where they ferry across to Rotterdam before a day of flat cycling into Belgium.

After the Ardennes hills, it is onwards into Luxembourg and then into North East France and the Vosges mountains.

The group head on in to Germany through the Rhine valley and through Black Forest before emerging at Lake Constance on the Swiss border.

Taking in the principality of Liechtenstein, it is back into Switzerland for a 30km, 1,100m climb up into the Alps to Davos.

But the bigger climbs are still to come before the riders can dream of Venice. As the riders head for Italy, they tackle the Flüela Pass topping at 2,383m, the iconic Stelvio Pass at 2,757m and the Passo Gavia, 1,406m of relentless ascent over 25.4km.

James and John are no strangers to big rides, however, having taken on London to Barcelona and London to Florence in previous years.

James said: “It’s another big one! I’m really looking forward to this though. There’s a few new countries on the itinerary which I have never been to. I just hope we can get over the borders after Brexit!

“With the last two rides, with Alps and the Pyrenees, we have done a lot of riding through France.

“I love France, but being a bit of a foodie, I’m interested to see what these countries offer up at meal times.

“Obviously I’m a bit nervous but it is exciting at the same time and the ride is for two great causes.

“I’ve got seven weeks to get a few hundred mile rides in. To be honest, you can’t really prepare for something like this because we don’t have the climbs like there are in continental Europe.

“But I know what to expect, and it will be tough.”

To sponsor James and John, go to http://veloveni.com/