A 51-year-old from Northumberland is set to pave the way for the pro peloton later this week when he sets off from Rotterdam to ride the 3,651-kilometre route of this year’s Tour de France on his own.
The race starts in Rotterdam on Sunday, by which time Quentin Field-Boden, a self-employed cycling coach and part-time radiographer from Alnwick, will be three days into his epic ride, which starts on Wednesday.
Billed the ‘Tour de Velo,’ Quentin, who is thought to be one of the oldest rider’s to attempt the entire Tour de Frace route, has been training for a year for the ride, and his only support will be regular water replenishment plus a vehicle to transport his bike spares and clothing to the end of each day’s stage.
His exploits are being backed by the clothing company Skins, which supplies several pro teams including HTC-Columbia, Rabobank and Milram, and which will be supplying him with its C400 cycle compression clothing plus, for those times when he manages to grab some well-earned shuteye, its RY400 recovery tops and shorts.
Compared to Quentin, the oldest rider in this year’s race, Cervélo TestTeam’s Iñigo Cuesta, is a mere stripling at 39 years of age, while the oldest rider to win the maillot jaune is the Belgian Firmin Lambot, who was 36 when he won the Tour in 1922 – a fact that won’t be lost on Quentin’s hero, the 38-year-old Lance Armstrong, who is this year bidding to win the race for a record eighth time.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.