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Ricky Buckenlei: "Cadel gave me confidence - I felt like a VIP"

Ricky Buckenlei — 25. August 2017 — BMC Tempo

Remember our 'Ride to Paris' contest? And our two winners Ricky and Heinz? It's more than a month since Le Tour arrived at the Champs-Elysées - but Ricky and Heinz will keep the memory of this ride forever. Ricky recalled the past for us and told us about her experiences on the ride.

It was one of these Sundays where you rush from one fun thing to the next and my boyfriend and I were just about to go out of the house for a dinner invitation when I scrolled through my facebook feed and saw Henning Bommel post saying „Who wants to come with me to Paris – 24hours left to enter the raffle with the chance to win a trip to Paris“. Well, that was me!

I clicked on the link, thought that these two questions are easily answered because I truely LOVE my amazing BMC Teammachine SLR01 and I CAN ride 600km in 3 I never win, so why this time?days. So I filled out the two questions, clicked send and off I went for a nice dinner party not even thinking about the competitions anymore; I never win, so why this time?

On Tuesday - back in the office - I only checked my personal emails late in the day as work kept me busy and I was beyond surprise when Fiola Foley – Head of Communications at BMC - congratulated me on winning the trip to Paris and inviting me to meet her and the team Grenchen in only 8 days. I won?! Can’t be true!

Everything from „ Whoop whoop!“ to „do I really want this?“ went through my head. I was thinking that a logistical nightmare was about to begin but all quickly resolved when I mentioned the magic words „I could ride with BMC and Cadel Evans to Paris if...“

My lovely friends took over the guiding of the Rapha Women’s 100 ride in the Dolomites in exchange for a selfie with Cadel, 4 days holidays worked out just fine and the booking of the travel to Grenchen and from Paris was as easy as buying a ticket for Munich’s public transport ;-).
My lovely friends took over the guiding of the Rapha Women’s 100 ride in the Dolomites in exchange for a selfie with Cadel
I left Munich packed with a big bag, my helmet, sunglasses on my nose and music in my ears – totally excited to meet my #bmcridetoparis team mates and find out how we would all fit together. I already knew that Fiola and I would be the only two girls, and I was a bit nervous hoping it wasn’t me who was the weakest link – then again, someone has to be and if it was me, then it would maybe be a bit easier to accept for my male riders than if it was a guy ;-).

Fiola greeted me with the biggest smile and a welcoming hug – „I am a hugging person!“ she said – and I knew the two of us would have a blast. We met the other riders at the Impact Lab where our impressive bike fleet was already waiting for us to be equipped with pedals and to be test ridden.

I knew exactly how I wanted my bike to be set up – I ride the previous model at home and over the past 3 years since I have it, I continuously upgraded the bike and made it my perfect fit. When I first rode the new disc version of my mean Teammachine SLR01, it was obvious that my bank account was in trouble... The feeling when it breaks, it means it – full stopp.

We rolled out early in the morning on Thursday and it was a journey that started. It felt a bit like being a pro, we had to pedal all day (but then again – nothing else!), work for the group and were escorted by two support cars and two amazing ladies who even made us lunch by the side of a French road so we could rest meanwhile and stretch our tired legs.

200km each on the first two days and 150km on the third was a stretch but riding in our group made it easy. It was impressive to see how we managed to ride almost all of the 590km in one group, barely ever that we split – and if, only for a short bit before we would regroup again. The strong legs were usually found in the front taking the wind and leading the way or in the back, supporting the tired legged Cadel gave me the confidence that I would make it back to the group in no time if I kept my speed and he took the wind allowing me to focus on my pedal strokesriders who needed a hand on the shoulder or someone to fill the gap when it opened. The trip was an incredible journey with a fantastic team spirit. And even though it all was special and something I would never want to miss, one situation still sticks to my mind the most. Obviously riding with the champ, 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans. He was riding like the role model you would expect, taking the lead, socializing with the pack, helping out in the back and always humble, friendly and offering advice and help when needed. He taught me riding Echelon in the strong French crosswinds on day three and offered me his rear wheel to hang on to up one of the last climbs that hit my tired legs quite by surprise. He gave me the confidence that I would make it back to the group in no time if I kept my speed and he took the wind allowing me to focus on my pedal strokes. I felt like a VIP and he is one: that is how I got a VIP Shuttle to Paris!

 Thank you #ride_bmc!

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