Orla Chennaoui, Sky sports cycling correspondent, will be tackling one of the new routes of the Adnams Pedal Norfolk Cycling Festival, to be held on the Holkham Estate over the bank holiday weekend, April 30 to May 2.
When she’s not in the saddle herself, Chennaoui is a familiar face of post-race interviews and will be part of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics coverage.
She has interviewed some of the greats of the cycling world including Tour de France winner, Sir Bradley Wiggins, CBE and British professional road racing cyclist, Mark Cavendish, MBE. Orla will again have her microphone ready for interviews at Pedal Norfolk, so that everyone can be interviewed like a champion.
Orla enthused: “I’m delighted to be a part of Pedal Norfolk and can’t wait to get on my bike with everyone. Given that my day job involves being around professional cyclists, it’ll make a lovely change to spend the weekend with cyclists who’re there for the fun of the sport - though I’m sure there’ll be quite a bit of competitive spirit all the same! Also, as a new mum I’ll be hoping to pick up some tips on family cycling myself!”
The cycling festival routes have recently been announced at www.pedalnorfolk.co.uk. Cyclists of all ages and speeds across the UK will be keen to study the maps and make their choices. The organisers have created a network of intersecting loops that will give riders the chance to enjoy some beautiful Norfolk countryside, challenging coastal climbs and descents, reminding riders that Norfolk isn’t that flat.
Starting small, within Holkham Park itself, there will be seven miles of completely traffic-free roads for smaller children and a half-mile mountain bike course through the woods. On each day of the festival, for riders who like to take their time to enjoy the scenery, or to ride alongside their older children, there is a new 20-mile local route to try out.
For the keen, lycra-clad amateurs, a series of five 50-mile loops makes up the ultimate Pedal Norfolk ‘250 miles in three days’ challenge. Day one takes riders on a 50-mile loop west to the edge of the Fens, back through Holkham, and then a further 50 miles out east for some up-and-down cycling along the coast. It’ll be tough. Day two’s 100-mile total is flatter and faster but with some Belgian classic, for those in the know, introducing winding and remote roads. On Bank Holiday Monday the 20 and 50-mile routes come together towards the finish, for a final, triumphant, ‘roll’ across the line.
Thanks to some hi-tech, rarely used for public events, every time a rider approaches the finish, or the halfway point on a 100-miler, his or her family and friends will be notified so they can line up cheer as they pass through the brand new ride-through beer tent.
One true champion in the making will be joining the riders. Kajsa Tylen is attempting to break the world record for distance cycled in one year, previously set by Billie Fleming in 1938. Her daily updates can be found at www.ayearinthesaddle.com.
All children who complete the 20-mile route will get a super cool wristband to show off at school while all riders at Pedal Norfolk can make their rides worthwhile by raising funds for Walking With The Wounded, this year’s official event charity. WWTW offers assistance to vulnerable veterans who have been physically, mentally or socially disadvantaged by their service and assist them in gaining independence through new long term careers outside of the military.
To see the routes go to www.pedalnorfolk.co.uk