The 2014 ABR Heroes

Duncan Lloyd – I am about to start my long trek back to London from Ho Chi Minh. I wanted to send congratulation, appreciation and admiration to all the CAD ABR riders for your performance and achievement during the 3 day Asia Business Ride. You can rightly be very proud of your achievements.
It is always humbling to see fellow cyclists of all abilities struggling up and down mountains pushing their bodies and mental capacity to the limit of their endurance in the name of a charity that aims to give families the gift of life, to help open the door of hope that would otherwise have been closed the them.
We have achieved great things these last 3 days, both physically and financially. I sincerely hope that these 3 days have fired you with the enthusiasm to continue your relationship with Newborn Vietnam and that you will join Premier for the ‘BIG ONE’ in 2015. Remember, the hardest thing about a cycling tour, is getting on the bike on the second day and ALL of you have shown you have the mental strength to do that.

Ben Hopkins– Yes, big thanks to Duncan and all the riders. Very good event, well organised and fantastic charity. I am hooked and cannot wait for the next ride. Will love to be involved next year.

Cosimo Jencks – We should all thank Premier Oil, Standard Chartered Bank & Hr2b for being ride sponsor, without them this would not have happened. Great three days and many us will be back.

Ken Atkinson – I was proud to be associated with a great bunch of riders and wish to thank the ride captain for his leadership that clearly kept all the riders in high spirits. I would also like to thank all of you for your support and inspiration and to those who gave me a helping hand along the way to help me finish in time with the experts!
Well done everyone!

Klavs Neilsen– Thanks to all for some great days and special thanks to Newborns Vietnam and support staff, absolutely fantastic event. A tough start of the tour with absolutely no mercy, a direct attack on the hills immediately from the start and continued throughout a very sunny and hot day. Astonishing beautiful scenery with roads curving through rural and deserted areas of Central Vietnam in the former DMZ via Ho Chi Minh Trail. After first day with hill climbs and slightly sore legs, the second day was offering a gentle downhill roller-coaster tour – in the rain…!!!
Hue to Da Nang, yet another day with rain, after a quick brief from team Captain the group was rolling out of Hue in a “single line parade” taking us through small fishing villages, we made quite a sight for the local residents.
During the 3 days ride, a returning topic for conversations was the CAD 2013 race over Hai Van Pass….the challenge between riders had once again built up through the ride and was the highlight of the third day ride. Arriving at the start of Hai Van sprint all riders were impatiently waiting for the train to pass and booms lifted for mass start of hill sprint, as it was count down of a F1 race day…..3, 2, 1 boom up …. furious and hectic the climb started, fastest rider reaching the Hai Van summit in an astonishing winning time around 20 minutes, very Impressive for a 9Km long +450m gain ride .
A police escort for the last 35Km through Da Nang city to the Hospital and led by the British Ambassador on a bicycle where 50 nurses were lined up in parade for receiving the group, passing the finish line at the entry to the hospital reception – a finish of an amazing 3 days tour with style, pomp and ceremony accompanied by Da Nang military orchestra…..fantastic ending.

Chris Birt – Thanks for organizing the ride a great challenge and it was really good to end-up at the neonatal unit to see the nurses and facilities there. This is when the real impact of what we have achieved hit home.

Le Hai Anh – Thanks a lot for organizing this great event. I wish I could do more this year. Next year I will make it up every climb.

Gavin Smith – We started with an intense start with 3000m of climbing and lots of 10 per cent hills which was steeper than I expected, I trained for 5 per cent spinning at 80 rpm+ and ended up grinding for most of the hills. Cloudy after lunch and I started to find my climbing rhythm at last, finished first day strongly. Beautiful empty mountain roads through the jungle all afternoon.
Day 2 some hard riding in the morning taking advantage of overall downhill effect with high speed on good roads. Then we had light rain from 30km onwards, windy and wet all the way to Dong Ha, with some miles on the highway where we hid behind the support vehicles. Dirty, wet and cold – hardass riding! Large dinner required with extra potatoes in Hue!
Day 3 Started from Hue in the rain and hugged tiny little rough roads all morning, which I enjoyed as it required good handling skills and strength more than speed. The coffee stop looked like a refugee camp with all sorts of clothing being worn to keep warm and dry. The sun peaked out as we approached the coastal sand dunes of Lang Co with a strong tail wind blowing us to the base of Hai Van Pass. Hai Van starts hard with some 10 per cent sections, then moderates and I could get some rhythm going, 500m climb overall.
I let rip on the descent with the promise of the lunch stop at the bottom. After lunch a 40km/hour sprint ensued and our victory lap around Da Nang City.
Excellent experience, hardass riding. All 3 days were challenging in very different ways with weather, terrain, wind and road surface all playing a part. A great learning experience about cycling. The organisation was excellent and we were very well looked after throughout by The Newborns Team – 2015 will be a must for me.

Bang Trinh – Very well organized and great group of riders. Great ride up the Hai Van. Have already mentioned the event to several individuals that might be interested in participating next year.

Chad Ovel – A big thanks to the generous hand on my back on more than one occasion on the ride. My training was entirely insufficient for the ride but selflessly support from the ride captains who lent a hand and spiritual support to my success and enjoyment through both “the hand” either on my back or words of encouragement. I will be back for the big one in November 2015 – all 1,500 k.

Lan, Ngoc & Tuan – Many thanks for having us. The boys loved it and they are still bragging about it to the cycle clubs in HCMC.

Neil MacGregor – Thank you again for a wonderful few days and well done!

Todd Gilmore – Great ride and a great cause!

Digby Collis – It was an absolutely brilliant event, and I was very happy that your persistence persuaded me to field a team and join the ride albeit for just for the final stretch! The visit to the neonatal ward brought home vividly what we have all been working on for the past few months.

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