What do you do when you lose your passion for playing football? Well, if you're 35-year-old Warren Gell, the answer is to cycle 800 miles from Munich to Blackpool.
The time triallist says he fell in love with the two-wheeled sport when he accompanied his father-in-law, a triple amputee, on the charity ride through Europe and has spent the past four years rising through the British time trial ranks.
2013 represented a landmark year for the Lancashire-based rider, setting a personal best on his birthday and scoring a two-up win with Paul Shallicker in the GP des Gentlemen race that commemorates CW's late cartoonist Johnny Helms. He stopped the clock at 19-17 in the Wold RT 10m event on July 20, which gave him among the fastest 50 rides of the season.
"My grandma died the night before, so there was a lot of emotion in it," he said. "Also the last time I was on the course was when [Christopher Auker] died [during the race on March 29, following a collision with a caravan].
"He was in my mind, it brings back memories of myself being hit by a car and trying to recover from that.
"I got hit doing 28mph in a race once and had to have 19 X-rays. "After that I was hit on a training ride and I ended up in a barbed wire fence." Although his season is now over, Gell's keen to get back on his bike over the winter, citing his constant desire to find extra seconds as his motivation.
"I quite enjoy winter as in a way you've got a purpose, you're building for next year," he said. "There's always going to be someone faster than you, which always gives you something to strive for."
This article was first published in the November 7 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!
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