Tak­ing on tough hills of the tour

Coventry Telegraph - - YOUR LIFE - Pro­fes­sors Peter Mar­shall and David Mor­ley

WAR­WICK­SHIRE County Coun­cil leader Izzi Sec­combe jumped in the sad­dle to take on the steep­est sections of the OVO En­ergy Women’s Tour.

The third stage of this year’s in­ter­na­tional cy­cle event, which fea­tures top in­ter­na­tional rid­ers, starts in Ather­stone and fin­ishes in Leam­ing­ton 151km later – by way of the steep Burton Das­sett Hills.

War­wick­shire County Coun­cil has worked with tour or­gan­is­ers to bring the event back to the area – so Cllr Sec­combe thought she should try some of the bumpier sections of the ride for her­self.

She en­listed the help of Rug­by­based world en­durance cy­cle record holder James Gold­ing, who has raised more than £3 mil­lion for char­ity af­ter twice over­com­ing cancer, to help her pedal up the 14 per cent Edge Hill.

James also lent her an elec­tri­c­as­sist bike for the trip and ac­com­pa­nied her on a road bike.

Cllr Sec­combe said: “I had a great deal of help from James and my bike but cy­cling up Edge Hill cer­tainly made me re­alise just how fit the women ath­letes have to be to com­plete five stages in suc­ces­sive days with­out the as­sis­tance I had,” she said.

“It also un­der­lined a cou­ple of other im­por­tant fac­tors. Firstly, just how mag­nif­i­cent the coun­try­side in War­wick­shire is, and why the or­gan­is­ers were keen to re­turn, Cllr Izzi Sec­combe and James Gold­ing be­cause the views were stun­ning.”

James, who is a fi­nal­ist in the Pride Of Bri­tain Awards as Fundraiser of the Year, said: “You still have to put in the ef­fort on an elec­tric-as­sist bike, and Izzi flew up the hill – it re­ally was quite im­pres­sive,” he said.

“The elec­tric-as­sist bikes mean cy­cling has be­come even more ac­ces­si­ble for all ages and abil­i­ties and, like Izzi, even if you haven’t rid­den for decades you can now jump on a bike and en­joy rid­ing with friends, groups and some of the tough­est hills around.”

The race be­gins to­day. War­wick­shire is the third of five stages and rac­ing in our re­gion takes places on Fri­day. to meet – was to ac­knowl­edge the com­plex­ity with­out sac­ri­fic­ing clar­ity.

“Mon­archs, martyrs, bish­ops and the­olo­gians, the great and the (sometimes) good, play their parts in my story. But I also wished to give full voice to the fears and hopes of or­di­nary women and men.”

Prof Mor­ley chose to sign the RSL’s Roll Book with a pen once owned by Lord By­ron. He said: “My elec­tion came out of the blue. It’s a huge hon­our for my po­etry to be recog­nised by other writ­ers in this way.

“I’m aware I’ve got a lot of work to do, and Fel­low­ship of the RSL is a great boost. The RSL has an ex­cel­lent schools out­reach pro­gramme which I’m look­ing for­ward to be­ing in­volved with. I hope to en­cour­age more stu­dents from di­verse and less priv­i­leged back­grounds to study cre­ative writ­ing at univer­sity and be­come au­thors them­selves.”

TWO Univer­sity of War­wick aca­demics have been awarded two of the UK’s high­est honours in arts and cul­ture. Pro­fes­sor Peter Mar­shall of the Depart­ment of His­tory has been hon­oured with the pres­ti­gious Wolf­son His­tory Prize for his book, Heretics and...

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