This year instead of doing the World Championships Sports Orthopaedic Specialist Charles Willis-Owen has looked for a tougher challenge. One of his secretaries bears responsibility for this one when her son pointed him in the direction of one of the toughest challenge events in cycling - the Bicingles.
This involves going up each of the three roads up the legendary Mt Ventoux TWICE in one day. Fewer people have succeeded in this that have summited Everest or even been into space! It is not an easy ride. It involves cycling the height of Everest (8800m to be exact) over a distance of 274KM in a day. To make things tougher, Mt Ventoux, the giant of Provence, has its name for the fierce winds and harsh weather at the summit.
To try to stand a chance of completing this Charles has been in training since September with the goal of first gaining power, then losing weight without losing any of that power. He had a stripped down bike well below the legal weight for road racing, and had been practicing taking on thousands of calories in a day, he needs about 1000 per hour, which is what it will take.
His attempt at this epic challenge will take place on the longest day to give as much daylight as possible. Starting at about 3am with a guess at 18 - 19 hours of riding.
Follow Charles longshot at this challenge on this blog.
Details of the event can be found here