Islington siblings use pedal power to reach Paris
PUBLISHED: 14:26 09 June 2017 | UPDATED: 14:26 09 June 2017
Youngsters complete 270-mile journey from London to French capital
Great Britain lead the way in the world of cycling with a host of Olympic track medals as well as Tour de France winners in Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.
Perhaps it is little surprise after news of two Islington youngsters who are making a name for themselves at the ages of 9 and 12.
Alfie Earl and his sister Saskia have ridden from London to Paris in aid of charity covering 270 miles along the way in strong sunshine, thundery showers and a hilly route.
For Alfie, who has become the youngest person to complete the route, it was just one in a series of cycling achievements.
After scaling the Col di Tourmalet last June at the age of eight, he vowed to conquer the Paddo dello Stelvio, Mont Ventoux and London to Paris before he turned 10.
The ride from Blackheath to Paris completed that list, while his sister is also thought to be the youngest girl to have ridden from capital to capital, both arriving at the Eiffel Tower after their long rides.
Confident Alfie said: “A year ago a lot of people didn’t think I could do this. Some people think a boy this young shouldn’t even try it.
“I do it because I want to though and I feel proud to have helped lots of people by doing this ride.”
Alfie was raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital after his younger brother Ivan had life-saving heart surgery there at the age of 18 months, while his older sister was riding for Cancer Relief.
“To anyone who doubts my determination and why I like pushing myself to do more, I say this – in your face!!”
For Saskia it was also a personal journey. “It was really hard at times and sometimes I wanted to stop, but I did this in memory of my granny who died in November, to raise money for Cancer Research, and when I got to the Eiffel Tower it was amazing,” she said.
Alfie rode a Pinarellow FP-Zero 24ins and is now supported by Hargroves Cycles which provide his kit and also jerseys for Saskia who rode a Specialised Allez Junior 650c.
It may be a long way, but Alfie still had the energy to bunnyhop drain covers and put in a sprint finish as he approached the finish in Paris.
He is now setting his sights on the Col du Galibier in July.