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Welham is prepared for the London to Paris challenge
9:00am Saturday 7th September 2013 in Sport
Chris Welham is gearing up for his next cycling challenge.
But having already completed one of the sport’s most brutal races, he expects this weekend’s London to Paris event to be a “walk in the park”.
Colchester’s Welham was due to start the 240-mile race shortly before 8am today and will finish on Monday.
To most cyclists it may represent a daunting task.
But Welham, who will be cycling to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation, is in confident mood after the “life-changing” experience of recently completing the Tour de France Etape.
“It’s a high mileage this weekend, but I’m quite relaxed about it,” said the former motorsport star, who passed his French test despite finishing with an energy-sapping 1,655-metre climb and having a flat tyre for 50 of the 80 miles.
“I’m looking forward to trying something different and, after last time, it should be a walk in the park!
“I usually do that many miles in a week, in training, but this time it’s compressed into three days.
“The plan is to do 70 miles on the first day, 80 on the second and 90 on the third and hopefully I can complete the whole thing inside 13 hours.
“It’ll be a new experience but the reason I’m so relaxed is because of what happened in France in July.
“It was life-changing, because it’s given me so much confidence.
“Cycling is as much mental as physical and if I can take on a challenge like that, I feel I can do anything.
“I know what I’m capable of and feel I’ve already proven something to myself.”
Welham, who gets under way at Woldingham Golf Club, in Surrey, will be using a carbon-fibre Specialised Tarmac bike, given to him by Cycle Revolution and Evolution.
And he recently received more good news after being invited to compete in next year’s Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York race.
The event takes thousands of cyclists on a challenging course from New York City to Bear Mountain and back and takes place in May.
“I’m totally gob-smacked and can’t wait,” said Welham, who is in training with British Cycling.
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