Stobart VK M-Sport Ford's Matthew Wilson and Scott Martin put their extensive fitness training to the test this weekend as they completed the 112-mile Fred Whitton Challenge cycle race over some of the toughest peaks in the Lake District. Wilson...
Stobart VK M-Sport Ford's Matthew Wilson and Scott Martin put their extensive fitness training to the test this weekend as they completed the 112-mile Fred Whitton Challenge cycle race over some of the toughest peaks in the Lake District.
Wilson and co-driver Martin completed the gruelling race as part of their preparation for the latest round of the FIA World Rally Championship next week's Rally d'Italia Sardegna alongside their fitness trainer Barry Johnson in just under nine-and-a-half hours, including breaks for food.
The one-day endurance event, which attracts 1000 entrants each year, started and finished in Coniston covering all of the Lake District's most famous passes on the way round. As well as facing an ultra-hilly course the riders also had to dodge potholes and uneven roads but Wilson, Martin and Johnson managed to avoid any mechanical problems or injuries.
Cycling is a major part of Wilson and Martin's fitness training so the epic race provided a stern test of their progress so far this season. With around 25 per cent of the field failing to complete the race the team did well to finish the course within their target time.
Riding together right up until the last climb of the race it was Martin who crossed the line first with Wilson hot on his heels and veteran Johnson only a few minutes back.
With a string for hot-weather rallies coming up in the FIA World Rally Championship calendar, fitness is hugely important to the drivers' performance in the car and this feat shows that Wilson and Martin are ready for the challenges to come in Sardinia, Greece and Poland in May and June.
Stobart VK M-Sport Ford driver Matthew Wilson said:
"The race was good. It went better than I was expecting, we didn't have any problems and I feel fine now which is great. We rode as a team and that was good because it meant that we could help each other out if any of us hit a bad patch. I was struggling near Lorton, quite close to the end, but I got some food and energy gel and that really helped. I'd like to do it again next year and go a bit faster because I really enjoyed the experience."