Janet Smedley, physiotherapist at Low Wood Club, will be on the finish line of the gruelling Stage 5 of the Aviva Tour of Britain cycle race to help and support the cyclists with their tired and aching limbs.
The annual Tour of Britain race starts on 6th September 2015 from Beaumaris in Wales, the cyclists crossing the finish line in Regents Street, London on 13th September. The premier British road cycling event will attract around a million spectators along the way and many more hundreds of thousands watching on TV or online.
As early as 1945 there was a 5 stage Tour of Britain race from Brighton to Glasgow, the leading rider of the day carrying north a letter to the Mayor of Glasgow. Today, the Tour of Britain forms part of the season long UCI European Tours and attracts some of the biggest names in the sport.
Bradley Wigans, winner of the Tour in 2013, will lead his own team this year, and Mark Cavendish heads up Etixx Quick Step team. As a springboard for national talent, there is no better event, and British Cycling’s team consists of 6 young riders, including 3 British Cycling Olympic Senior Academy riders, Scott Davies, Gabz Cullaigh and Ollie Wood.
Stage 5 of the event covers 166.2 km with a total ascent of 2,838 m across the Pennines and into Cumbria. It takes in the Lake District National Park around Ullswater before a final climb of 8 km to the summit on Hartside Fell. Janet will be on hand to give advice on muscle stretching and strapping, help with minor injuries and manual therapy where required.
Janet has been practising at Low Wood Club for over eighteen years and has supported many cyclists in a programme of rehabilitation to re-build their physical strength, stamina and confidence.
Peter Garland, a Low Wood Club member, completed the Fred Whitton cycling challenge in 2013 but developed back pain in 2014 followed by a replacement hip joint later in that year.
He confesses he was a little sceptical and wondered if he would ever get back to his previous fitness. Three weeks post operation, Janet started Peter with regular 10 minute sessions on a static bike and then a programme of weights to help strengthen hip, thigh and core stability muscles. Obviously, any programme post operation must only be undertaken with the supervision of a suitably qualified practitioner. Today, Peter is glad to report that he is about 95% back to his original fitness level and in May this year successfully cycled from Ambleside to Whitby.
Another client, Patricia Stones, set off to cycle from Land’s End to John O’ Groats in 2013 to celebrate her 79th birthday. Suffering from a painful knee en route, she stopped off at Low Wood Club and Janet was able to give her much-valued assistance, she said:
This made it possible to continue without so much pain and complete the ride.
We wish all the cyclists of the Tour of Britain every success as they take to their saddles on 6th September 2015.
Janet Smedley is the resident Physiotherapist at Low Wood Club, and can offer consultations for members of the Club and the general public.