Lawrence Dallaglio and his team of core riders took on the grueling Dallaglio Cycle Slam and won. Cycling over mountains and across four countries the team raised a huge amount of money. We spoke to Lawrence to find out more about the Dallaglio Cycle Slam from the man himself.
How do you motivate yourself to keep pushing in the low moments?
I’ve always been very goal-driven, and I’ve always set my goals pretty high and I really believe in the power of working as a group. When you are struggling, you have to think of the people we’re doing it for to put things in perspective.
For the past three months before we start, I really step up the training. A lot of miles on the bike, a few long distance weekend rides. You spend a lot of hours in that saddle and doing 100 km plus per day is a big challenge for even the most experienced cyclist.
Why did you decide to take up cycling after the end of your rugby career?
Rugby is tough on your body so following my retirement cycling has been a good fit for me in being a low impact sport with appealing aspect of the challenge and training that’s required.
More importantly than that I think the reason I chose cycling is because it’s so inclusive, it’s a really good way of getting people together for a common cause.
I also like that sense of achievement you get at the end of the day. When you’ve been on a bike of seven or eight hours you get that euphoric feeling of achieving something. This feeling is heightened when you’ve been on a bike for almost a month.
Where did the idea for the Dallaglio Cycle Slam come from?
I set up the Foundation in 2009 after my retirement. I had done a lot of charity work in the last few years of my career so knew I could do something to help people. I wanted to focus on one cause so decided that I wanted to channel this energy into helping young people.
As a charity the Dallaglio Foundation run an umbrella of rugby activities with young people, the most prominent being our social inclusion programme where we work with disadvantaged youths who have been excluded from mainstream education.
We use rugby as a way to improve their self-esteem and teach them the positive values of the game with the aim of making them more employable to increase their chances of a good future.
To fund this activity we established an event in 2010 based around a sport which many of our supporters love, cycling. Creating that rugby tour on two wheels feel is a core part of the event and year on year it’s been a great success.
Which of the two sports is harder?
Well, they’re actually quite similar. My rugby career was all about achieving goals and targets, and doing that in a group with a huge sense of fun. That’s something I can bring to this.
Have you found sports have gotten harder as you’ve gotten older?
I’ve managed to keep reasonably fit since I stopped playing rugby, but I have to put in a lot of work specifically for such a big event. The important thing is I know I need to put the training in. I go out at least two or three times a week, including one long ride at the weekend.
What’s next for the Dallaglio Cycle Slam, will you be taking on any tough rides in America, Africa or anywhere else in the world?
We’ve completed the Dallaglio Cycle Slam in 2010, 2012 and 2014 so all in all we’ve completed three months of cycling over three years – that’s enough for me for now! However, with the Tour de France having started in Yorkshire, it’s an incredible exciting time to be into cycling.
About the Dallaglio Cycle Slam
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