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‘Alf’ d’Huez

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!”

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Bon courage, aux petits..

Some smaller-sized Hargroves Cycles jerseys will be seen on the roads and lanes of southern England today, as two children aged 9 and 12 attempt to ride from London to Paris.

Alfie and Saskia Earl are being accompanied by their parents and younger brother Ivan on an adventure as the pair aim to become to the youngest ever girl and boy known to have done a distance that is normally the reserve of adults on charity rides each year.

Just 9, Alfie is supported by Hargroves Cycles and has made a name for himself as a high mountain climber – Tourmalet, Stelvio and Ventoux amongst them, with the Galibier on this summer’s list. We sorted out jerseys for the family and wish them all the best on what should be a very warm few days, with thundery showers also forecast.

They set out from Blackheath at 6am this morning, and Alfie plans to write some more blog posts for us so you can follow how they get on over the next few days.

For now though, bon courage!