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Olympic star Jazz Carlin joins charity cyclists at Brands Hatch

Thursday, September 08 2016

Olympic medallist Jazz Carlin paid a visit to Brands Hatch today (Thursday) to cheer on cyclists taking part in the annual Cyclothon UK sportive and fundraising event on the Grand Prix circuit.

Jazz won Silver Medals in the 400 and 800 metres freestyle swimming events during the recent Rio Games. The 25-year-old brought her medals along to help motivate the Cyclothon UK competitors, who are taking part in eight and 12-hour solo and relay challenges on the famous undulating course.

"It's my first time here," Jazz said. "It's a really great event and to see people cycling for 12 hours is incredible; the amount of energy they've got to have to keep going. It's just so nice to be here to support people raising money for charity.

CyclothonUK2"I do a bit of cycling in the gym in my training, but that's about as much cycling as I do. I'm not great on the bike, but hopefully I can get a bit better. I'm a bit like a fish out of water, really!"

Jazz admitted that her life has been hectic since stepping off the plane from Rio last month. "It's been a whirlwind," she said. "I haven't had many nights at home but it's been nice to do some different things and meet lots of different people and celebrate. Most of the year is spent in really hard training, so it's nice to be able to relax and enjoy it and do some different things."

Cyclothon UK is organised by former England Rugby prop Victor Ubogu, and amongst the competitors are his former rivals and friends from the sport. This year's event also included former Rugby stars Lee Mears and Shaun Perry.

"[It's our] sixth year, it's been good and the weather has stayed with us, so we can't complain," Victor said.

CyclothonUK1"For the first time I had a little fall; I was going up Druids, tried to change down and left it a bit too late, and the chain came off. I took one foot out of the pedals, and stupidly tried to take the other foot out rather than leaning to one side, and went over one degree too many - whoops!"

Victor admitted that he isn't the only member of his team to be struggling: "They're all suffering as usual; every year we look forward to this and every year we don't train as much as we should have done. It's a different and very challenging course."

Regardless of individual performances, he's pleased that the event continues to raise money for various causes. "I think we've got past the £200,000 mark from the last five events," he said. "Hopefully people will continue to support their chosen charities and continue to add to that figure."

This weekend, Olympic cyclist Jason Kenny will be taking part in the Revolve24 cycling challenge at Brands Hatch. For more information visit: http://revolve24.com/events