'It felt like I’d been caught planning a dirty weekend, rather than a bike ride'

An impromptu business trip to Nice has Brett Lewis sneaking his cycling kit into his overnight bag in search of this first Alpine summit

"Something to aim at!” So said Tom Simpson when he placed a deposit on a new Mercedes without the fiscal ability to buy it. But if he could win that year’s Tour de France, he could easily afford that new car.

While my target wasn’t as cool as Simpson’s Merc, it was probably just as big a leap of faith against reality. I wanted to climb my first col.

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Jack Elton-Walters hails from the Isle of Wight, and would be quick to tell anyone that it's his favourite place to ride. He has covered a varied range of topics for Cycling Weekly, producing articles focusing on tech, professional racing and cycling culture. He moved on to work for Cyclist Magazine in 2017 where he stayed for four years until going freelance. He now returns to Cycling Weekly from time-to-time to cover racing, review cycling gear and write longer features for print and online.