A ten-year-old cyclist has completed his latest challenge to help children with life-limiting illnesses.
Bjoern Loerdt, who has been competing in road racing since he was five and is the youngest member of Yorkshire’s oldest cycle retailer All Terrain Cycles racing team, climbed an impressive 15,429 ft across 110km and 21 bends of some of the most challenging terrain in Alpe d’Huez.
The Bramhope Primary pupil, completed the 110km stage of the Tour de France route, alongside his father Lars, in an impressive 5 hours 51 minutes the day before the professional riders. Along the way he has raised nearly £1,000 for Martin House Hospice in Boston Spa, which provides family-led care for children with life-limiting illnesses.
Lars explained: “The conditions were hard, with temperatures reaching 35 degrees. The humidity at the bottom of Alpe d’Huez was particularly challenging and isn’t something Bjoern has really encountered before.
“He found his performance really dropped off due to the humidity and he had to take in a lot more fluid than he normally would.
“In fact it was so hot at one point that all the cyclists were jumping into a nearby waterfall, just to cool down!
“That said, overall, Bjoern found the ride a lot easier than he had been expecting. He’s put in the training and it really paid off – he loves climbing and was able to get up the hills without any trouble and actually said he felt it wasn’t as hard as some of the climbs in the Lake District.
“Bjoern is planning to do more tour stage riding next year and to work on his climbing technique.”
Tony Booth, managing director of All Terrain Cycles Wetherby added: “Bjoern is certainly ‘one to watch’ in the world of cycling.
“His achievement in completing this incredibly challenging stage of the Tour de France – one that even Chris Froome declared one of the toughest of his career is testament to his talent and commitment.”
Bjoern has been supported by All Terrain Cycles, which helps with kit and bikes and provides technical support and training advice, since joining the team two years ago as its youngest member.
Last year, he won the U10 and U12 summer series as well as taking the title of the U12 Yorkshire Cyclocross Champion in November in his first ever winter cross season.
To sponsor Bjoern and Lars, visit https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/bjoern