News and Photos

Day 14   14th Sept

Graz /Annaburg

This was a testing day for the team - the second hardest ride of the tour with 3,393m of climb. Many benefited from fresh legs after the unexpected rest day yesterday however, so the team were up for a challenge!

Distance: 153.2km Climb: 3393m

mhealth Grand Tour 2014

30th August to 15th September. Barcelona to Vienna. 2300km ride, 33000m of climb.

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Stage Breakdown         Day     1    2    3    4    5    Rest1    6    7    8    9    10    Rest2    11    12    13    14    15

A double rainbow snapped over Graz at the beginning of day 14, was as it turned out a predictor of good fortune for the day ahead, with what turned out to be a bright day of great cycling.

The team got patched up for the day ahead, and after Shahzad took a selfie capturing the ferocity of the river in Graz, all set off on their way.

The beginning of the journey was pretty wet, but fast paced on fresh legs. Then came a climb - the climb that the team was warned about in their briefing (above). At 28% this was a climb that had a few of the team beat, as after slogging their way up as far as they could go resorted to walking up the rest of the way. Nevertheless, everyone made it to a lunch stop, in time to enjoy a bit of bright weather.

Image right, Rob Woolfson gets taped up for the day.

Image below right - proof of the 28% gradient, and image below the team enjoying a spot of lunch.

After lunch, the route took the team along pilgrim trails, so there were a number of shrines along the way. Thankfully today nobody needed to pray for a new pair of legs!

The tour took them through a town: Mariazell - a pilgrim sight with a nice church, which was visited by Pope Benedict in 2004 and 2007. A few snaps were taken and then off towards Annaburg for their last stop before their cycle to Vienna tomorrow.

What seems to have been an epic journey has suddenly come to a finish so very quickly. I am sure there will be a lot of relieved cyclists as they travel (mainly downhill) to Vienna tomorrow, but also a lot of sad faces realising that this amazing journey that has been planned and trained for for so many months has come to an end.

What a fantastic experience these guys have had, and hasn’t it been great to follow their journey. They’ve made new friends along the way and together have shared an amazing adventure. Often times the best moments and memories come from the times when life is at it’s most challenging.

Tomorrow, on to Vienna on the last day of the tour. Follow the tweets during the day to check on progress, and let’s wish them a superb ride in home.