In 2013, Stacie and I were in a “team” – 3fidiProCycling – in the HauteRoute Alps in company with Paul Hamblett (aka Piglett). Â Despite only having had a little over 6 months of training on the bike, Paul easily outperformed his teammates – who limped into the end of each stage to find Paul – relaxed and composed – showered, massaged and ready for lunch!
Paul’s big engine results fromÂ a long history of high level competition as a rower. Â Coincidentally, he shares old mates with Alwyn – from their rowing days on the Thames.
This year, Paul is back for more – he’s spent much of the last 12 months training – in the UK and around Nice. Â In 2014, he’s riding all three HauteRoute events – 21 days of climbing over three weeks – 7 days DolomitesÂ – ONE rest day – 7 days French Alps – ONE rest day – then 7 days Pyrenees. Â The total distance isn’t long – a little under 3000km BUT includes over 60,000metres of climbing!
After 3 stages in the Dolomites, he’s podiumed twice and is currently 4th on GC. Â The photo below shows Paul in company with the chase group early in the climb of the Passo di Gavia on Stage 3.
Sitting atÂ 6th wheel, he’s displayingÂ typical Piglett behaviour – reaching to the pocket forÂ FOOD. Â I’ve never known anyone with a bigger appetite. Â Clearly the food worked – he rode away from all these guys over the 17.5km climb to finish third on the stage!
Tonight is the ITT – Stage 4 – up the Stelvio – 1550metres elevation gain over 21 km. Â Paul is particularly targeting the ITTs – pure uphill efforts. Â With less than two years of cycling in his legs, he’s still not at ease with the descents and typically loses time on them – so tonight’s the night – 100% uphill! Â You can follow progressÂ here – he’s Bib Number 2.