Who comes up with something as crazy as the Cent Cols Challenge (CCC) and makes it into a concept that people sign up for?
I gave it a lot of thought, I really did, but of course I signed up for one. At the time I just needed an extraordinary goal to look forward to. It was over a year ahead and not real to me yet. I had done a few one-day mountain races and a couple of other things but nothing in this league. The past ten years of my life had been busy. Career, kids, life in an airplane, bigger jobs, money, a corporate lifestyle. But everything came at a cost. Endless travel days, business dinners, stress, never at home. I lost a marriage and had to do some thinking. The bike was a good option.
In August 2013 I called a coach I knew and hired him for the season. His task? Make me ready for the CCC. I was 81kg, not in my greatest shape, and far away from being able to complete anything above 150km in the mountains. I decided that I wanted to be serious about the concept with the ambition of enjoying all 10 stages without even thinking about quitting.