When Alfie Earl told his dad at the age of seven that we wanted to ride up all the legendary mountains of the Tour as soon as he could, plus a few other challenges to boot, it seemed a tall order.
But now aged 10, and supported by Hargroves, that’s just what he has done after climbing Alpe d’Huez recently.
It brings his palmares to the Tour of Flanders at just seven years-old, the Col du Tourmalet at eight, Passo dello Stelvio, Mont Ventoux, London to Paris via Dover and the Col du Galibier at nine, and now the infamous Alpe.
“I wasn’t going to stop until I’d done Alpe d’Huez too, and we were going near it on a cycling trip to Annecy, so I had my chance,” said Alfie, who lives near Horsham in West Sussex.
“Those first few kilometres were a killer and I had to get out of the saddle a lot, but the top was a lot easier. Now I want to try the Zoncolan because since we moved house I now have roads like Barhatch Lane and Leith Hill to train on, so 20 per cent is hard but I can do it. I like proving that I can. The most important thing is to enjoy it though and challenge myself to keep going.”
Alfie is also targeting Paris-Roubaix for next year, having done Flanders twice already.
“Last time I went up the Paterberg without stopping while most of the adults were walking, so I know Paris-Roubaix has worse cobbles but I’m used to them now. Also I’m now on a Ridley full-size bike from Hargroves so it was born for it!”