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Tristan shows true grit

Tristan shows true grit

IT takes guts, strength and mental determination to cycle 200km in one ride, writes JOHN MURRELL.

It takes a whole lot more to do that, every month, for a whole year.

Hungerford cyclist Tristan Davenne set himself just that challenge and has received an accolade from Audax, the Association for Long Distance Cycling, as Randonneur Round the Year.

An Audax is a self-sufficient, cycle ride that must be completed within a set time limit.

There are checkpoints along the way and, while rides vary in length, 200km requires a fast pace to complete it in time.

Throw in the hills and British winter weather and any Audax amounts to a tough day in the saddle.

To achieve the Randonneur Round the Year award, you must complete a 200km ride every month – miss one and you have to start again.

“I have been cycling almost since I could walk” said Davenne, a member of Newbury Road Club.

“There are several organised Audax rides around the country each month, so I chose events local to me.

“The Dorset Coast 200 and the Salisbury Plain ‘Old Roads and Drove Roads’ were among my highlights.

“My personal favourite was the Grand National Park to Park, which takes in the South Downs and New Forest – I was just outside the course record for that one.

“Each ride brings its highs and lows. I remember at the end of one exhausting day being overtaken by a tricycle!”

Today, Davenne rides, races and trains with his Newbury club.

He reflects on the impact of lockdown on his cycling and training.

“Lockdown was kind to cyclists in the spring when there was less traffic on the roads.

“Audaxes were still able to run, but in a limited ‘DIY’ form.

“Today I miss cycling in a group, but Newbury Road Club has a great buddy scheme in place so I can hook up and ride with a fellow club member when I wish.”

Tristan plans to get back to organised Audaxes when normality resumes.

He said: “I love the camaraderie of the riders and just having a whole day away from normal life with a completely different focus.”

Give him a shout if you see him out on the roads.

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