Alex updates us on the first stint in France

Heavy rain and heat challenges the cyclists

One of our team members, Alexander Wheatley, taking the London to Paris cycle challenge for Macmillan tells us about day two...

This is without doubt the craziest thing I have ever done, after losing my father Eric to cancer last year, Macmillan looked after him in his final days. How better to say thank you.

So as we left exited the hotel this morning and sat on the wrong side of the road ready to go, it was clear that we would all have to be very careful. Junctions and stop signs the main confusion with many of us getting the beep or sitting at junctions when it was our right of way!

Yesterday was hard, stiff and in some cases sunburned (it was 35 degrees). The squeal of first contact to the saddle sores rang out along the start point!

My first ever challenge and in fact the first exercise I have done in some 20 years...boy was I feeling it.

So with 41 miles done, first water stop done the work really began. Heavy rain disturbed Flint chippings on the country roads and boom! Fifteen punctures throughout the whole group within an hour, personally two ,but some as many as three! 

After lunch was no easier, 18 miles to the next stop, hill after hill, this is where teams pulled together, coaching, encouragement and for some just the presence of a fellow cyclist to pull them though the most difficult part of today.

Water stop (final), tempers short and raging sunshine was too much for some! The final 11 miles, Arras the final push and a chance to stop and pay respect at the war cemetery. Emotional for us all.

So 160 miles covered...dinner and early night for us all. 7am start tomorrow.