The 26th April 2015 saw hundreds of intrepid cyclists take on a 140km journey from St Tropez to Monaco in aid of The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, organised by the Champagne & Oyster Cycling Club of Monaco (COCC).
The COCC peloton included some of our very own Sunseeker London Group riders, who have put together the below diary for the whole weekend, including the preparation, training rides, the cycle itself, and of course a little fun along the way…read on to discover more!
The weekend started on Thursday, as the Sunseeker Cycling Team arrived at the Carlton Hotel to meet clients for a welcome reception and logistics briefing by the Sunseeker France Group Support Team and Lindsay Hutchinson. The trip for our 9 Sunseeker cyclists, who joined around 130 others, required some precision planning across the Group, and we were grateful to call on support from various locations along the Cote d’Azur!
Assistance from Sunseeker La Napoule, Sunseeker Technical Support and Sunseeker Monaco, saw the organisation of 4 hotels, 14 spare bikes, tyres, countless inner tubes, full support kits, 3 Sunseeker transfer chauffeur vehicles, 3 Sunseeker Service vans and 1 fully-fuelled, ready to go, Sunseeker Predator 84…!
An early start on Friday included breakfast at the Sunseeker France Group Technical Support Centre in Port Inland, La Napoule, whilst a team of Sunseeker Engineers prepared our bikes for a 60km warm-up ride to Agay and back. After a successful trip out as far as St Raphael, the cyclists returned to the Sunseeker La Napoule offices to a real buzz in the marina as the Sunseeker Predator 84 “FIRECRACKER” awaited their arrival.
After a light lunch in La Napoule, guests boarded “FIRECRACKER” for an afternoon’s charter around the islands of Cannes. With warm sea air and glorious sunshine, we really enjoyed a picturesque start to the season out on the water, before heading back to the Carlton Hotel Pier for guests to disembark and enjoy the evening at leisure.
Saturday morning included a serious uphill training cycle as one of the team wished to explore the mountains and enjoy more of the coastal roads leading back into Cannes. Other more relaxed members trained in the Carlton Hotel Gym & Spa before being transferred to the Carlton Pier for a 2-hour cruise to St. Tropez on board “FIRECRACKER”.
Upon arrival to St. Tropez, Sunseeker guests checked in to Le Residence de la Pinede Hotel before a cocktail and canapé reception hosted by John Taylor Estates. A dinner and early night then concluded the day for all cycling teams to rest ready for the early start time of the COCC ride. Throughout the night and early hours of the morning, the Sunseeker support team and vehicles were transferring the team’s bikes from La Napoule to St Tropez ready for the start line the following morning.
Making their way to St Tropez for 8am, all 130 cyclists were welcomed by COCC event organisers and great friend of the event, Prince Albert of Monaco. After a few words of encouragement, the riders set off on the 140km journey – next stop St Raphael, then Mandelieu-La Napoule, then Antibes, then Nice (complete with obligatory pint of Guinness, of course), then Eze and finally…Monaco!
The long awaited final stage had to be the most euphoric, with all cyclists taking on the last leg of the course together – complete with police escort! Crowds of supporters cheered everyone over the finish line at Stars n’ Bars, with family and friends gathering to celebrate their loved ones achievements! What a moment.
Sunseeker were proud to sponsor both the finish line and after party in Monaco, hosting drinks for guests to enjoy whilst bikes and kit were packed away to travel back to the UK. A quick shower and change followed, before the day was concluded at the renowned Slammers after party, where the teams of cyclists were rewarded for their efforts with some hard earned refreshments! Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco greeted and thanked all of the COCC cyclists, to roaring cheers from the gathering crowds!
Christopher Head, Sales Director of the Sunseeker London Group and Sunseeker Team cyclist comments; “This year’s COCC cycle has been a great success and I have been very proud to support such an iconic and fun event for so many people to take part in. Cycling 140km is no easy ride, however our team really enjoyed the experience. More importantly, collectively, we have raised a significant amount of money for charitable causes.
The Sunseeker Cycling Team wouldn’t have been able to take part in the event if it wasn’t for the support and assistance of our local Group network. From vehicles and technicians to masseurs, refreshments and loud cheering, we have to thank everyone involved in this fundraising effort. Here’s to next year…”
To take be a part of the Sunseeker Team in the 2016 COCC cycle ride, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org