Npower Employee Attempts To Reclaim The Recumbent Cup
Released on: September 06, 2011, 10:29 am
Rob Webb did not take losing the Recumbent Cup, a couple of
years ago, lying down. He got back on his bike, determined to reclaim
it following completion of his latest ride, the world's longest and
oldest long-distance cycle race, the Paris - Brest - Paris.
The intranet manager at npower's offices in Worcester, Rob (48) started his
training back in January, with the intention of reclaiming his old record. The
Recumbent Cup is awarded by Audax UK (AUK) to the rider of a recumbent bike who
gains the most points during a season.
Long-distance rides are called Audax rides, from the Latin word for 'audacious'.
Audax UK organises and validates rides and is affiliated to the governing body, the
ACP (Audax Club Parisienne) in France. The shortest Audax ride is 200km (125 miles)
for which two points are awarded (one point per 100km/62 miles cycled). Standard
ride distances are 200km, 300km (185 miles), 400km (250 miles) and 600km (360
The Paris - Brest - Paris challenge, which pre-dates the Tour de France, involved
more than 5,000 cyclists and covered 1,200km. Rob added another 1,000 km riding from
Worcester to Paris and back. Riders have to complete the race within 90 hours. Rob
took part in the PBP in 1999, completing it in 85 hours and again in 2003, when he
knocked ten hours off his time.
However, it was well worth the pain and effort, as he explained: "The ride itself
was very hard - even by PBP standards; weather conditions went from blazingly hot
(you should see my suntan), to epic thunderstorms of biblical proportions, and
really dense fog climbing the Roc Trévézal, the highest point in Brittany.
"The support of the local people was amazing. Thousands of people along the route
cheered the riders on all day and all night, with many offering free food and drink
and the essential top-ups for empty water bottles. On all long-distance and
ultra-distance rides there are times when you are at a physical or mental low point
and a cheery "bon courage" shouted as you pass a family, at the side of the road,
in the middle of the night really helps lift the spirits."
Rob's vehicle of choice is a Bacchetta Giro 20, which he has spent both time and
money modifying and upgrading, so that both he and the bike were prepared for this
He has now reached 94 points (5828 miles), beating the current Recumbent Cup holder
by twelve points. When Rob last held the title he had 72 points, meaning he will
have added a further 1,364 miles to his cycling total this season. But the title is
not yet in the bag; Rob will have to wait until the end of the season to see whether
he has beaten his rivals to the title.
- Ends -
npower is one of Britain's largest energy suppliers and supplies gas, electricity
and related services to 6.6 million customers across the UK.
npower has been awarded platinum status in Business in the Community’s CR Index and
is one of twenty-nine companies to have achieved the CommunityMark since its launch.
All CommunityMark achievers have been recognised for demonstrating excellence in
their holistic and strategic approach to community investment.
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