An amateur, Gareth is fulfilling a long-held dream by participating in this year’s event. As if that wasn’t challenge enough, Gareth is also hoping to raise £5,000 for SOS Children’s Villages in the process!
We caught up with Gareth to uncover his motivations for taking part in the event and get an insight into his strict training regime.
Why did you to participate in the Trans-Provence race?
The Trans-Provence race is a world-famous race within the mountain biking world. For any mountain biker who enjoys technical challenges in remote terrain, this event is the pinnacle. It’s one of the most technically demanding point-to-point “stage” mountain bike races in the world. There are rocky sections, rooty sections, steep sections, exposed sections, tight switch-back sections – I could go on…!
I applied for a place last October, not expecting to get a place, but here we are!
The race certain sounds tough, how are you preparing?
There are three aspects to my training: physical, mental and the equipment side of things. Physically, I’m doing lots of strength, sprint and endurance training. I’ve done lots of interval sessions and have ridden my bike in all sorts of challenging technical terrain to prepare.
Mentally, my preparation has been about increasing my confidence in my technical abilities. I am fortunate to have an excellent coach in Ben Plenge from the Mountain Bike Strength Factory. He provides personalised training programmes and support to elite cyclists, so it’s great to have his guidance! I recommend his services to anyone undertaking a cycling challenge.
Fitting in the physical training around work and family has meant being out on my bike at 5 am throughout the tough Swiss winter – spring’s arrival could not have come soon enough!
What made you want to fundraise for SOS Children’s Villages?In 2000, I spent some time in Liberia where I witnessed the positive effects a formal aid and support programme can have on children who are displaced by conflict or experience family trauma and tragedy. Since this experience, the success of such programmes has personally meant a lot to me.
I have been supporting SOS Children’s Villages for over seven years now. I first came into contact with them when my employer, SThree, became a corporate partner. Over the years I have witnessed the positive impact SOS Children’s Villages had on children’s lives.
How much are you hoping to raise?
I have an ambitious target of £5,000 and whatever I raise will be matched pound by pound by my company, SThree.
How can people support you?
By donating to my fundraising page – it’s always great to read people’s words of encouragement on there too!
Without fantatsic supporters like Gareth, we wouldn't be able to continue our work. Thank you!