Client Testimonials

My husband and I booked for a week in May and this would be our first Triathlon holiday/training camp experience.  Everything lived up to and surpassed our expectations.

It was fully coached and supported and tailored exactly to our requirements.   Superb accommodation in very tranquil surroundings and excellent facilities. It was great to have a balance between swim/bike/run and the fresh food was out of this world.….. We brought lots of recipes and ideas home.  We really enjoyed the relaxed set up and outstanding hospitality. It was the perfect balance between hard training and technique based coaching and we had a fab fab fab time, lots of training and learning but also lots of chilling!  A simply brilliant ambiance and picturesque cycling. We did not want to go home, it was Triathlon heaven and Richard built our confidence no end and we left inspired and motivated.

Richard was really terrific and offered a very personal service  – even fitted my aero bars.  A really great week. We really valued the experience and knowledge of Richard as a coach and his willingness to share it. We certainly hope to be back again.  Merci beaucoup!” C’est magnifique!”

As a result we both quickly signed up with Richard as our coach.  He has helped us to become stronger and smarter.  We look forward to a winter season of training with him and (hopefully) realising our full potential for the racing season 2012 and beyond…..maybe even an Iron Man, eek!!!!!!  The coaching is very personalised and individual and tailored to our needs and races. All questions are answered and believe me I ask a lot…………..and my way is initially the only and right way……hmmmmmm,  compared to Rob who does not tell or ask anything…….  Thank you for everything

Laura and Rob
Team Baylis

Richard eagle’s  eye for the kinetcis of the human body left me in awe. He knows and sees all biomechanical details of our movements (flawed or not). Any athlete (professional or aspirational like myself) who happens to be lucky to come under his close scrutiny is bound to profit from his thorough evaluation. What impressed me most was the way he transfers his knowledge: tips, analogies, examples are spot on! He just gets under your skin. A definate A-ha experience. Michelle, on her part,  is the embodiment of soft power. She has her hands everywhere, organizing, cooking, managing, coaching, training and taking everybody under her motherly wings. This all is done with minimum effort, of course (well, at least she makes it look easy).
The one week with them  made me realise that triathlon is not a sport but a way of life, which requires a special mindset. By observing Sam and little Jake, both in their physical skills and sheer determination, one can be easily tempted to believe that such mindset is an inherited feature, genetically determined. My only hope is that this suspicion will be proven wrong and such feature may be at the end of the day acquired (after much sweating and hard work).  For triathletes, however, sweating and hardwork are soothing, pleasant words, and the (in)famous brick sessions a stroll in the woods…

Thanks for everything,


Valeria (and Caio)

It is an honnor to close out this guest book, and all I can really do is to echo the comments of those who come earlier. It really is a magical place to come and train, but you turn the dream into reality with superb local knowledge, thoughtful and positive coaching and, most of all, a wonderfull, friendly base with all the rest and nutrition a true athlete (or normal person!) could wish. I’ll definately be back, there is so much to improve. Ed

Great Coaching, Great Location, Great Food, Great Company, in short GREAT!!!!!! Michael and Pat .

Back again for trip No.4. About to book 5 and 6 ahead of Ironman Switzerland! Love it here!…Sarah

Thanks for a fantastic week, great setting, big hills, more exercise than I have ever done in 7 days. I will be faster in everything when I return and will break 20 mins up Montbolo. Thanks again James

Thanks Richard and Michelle for a wonderful week. I have done more than I thought I could and have gained so much in skills and confidence. I can’t wait to get home and use everything I’ve learn’t. All this coupled with loads of fun and a lovely atmosphere….can’t wait to come back again….Jenni

belated note to thank you for your hospitality while I was staying with you. I had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed the training, even the swimming! The rides were great and I’d love the chance to come back and sample some more…maybe next year! …………..(lots more! See entry)…All the best Tony

Cheers again Michelle and Rich! Thanks for another great weeks training and fun! See you again soon! Best regards Donnal.

Thanks for the food and hospitality. Really could not have hoped for better on the eating front…and that is important to me. By the way, I hoped you enjoyed the Chinese I cooked (YES WE DID THANKS!) although Sam claimed I poisoned him. Really enjoyed your Triathlon event in Argeles. It was a credit to all those involved – especially for involving so many people at a young age. Finally thanks to Rich for all the training. I really enjoyed the bike and my Achilles just about held up. I recommend having guests like SEAN (sports injury therapist) on a regular basis………….All the best. ENDA

Michelle – thanks for the food at the right time and in the right amounts (lots!). An excellent hostess whose job will get harder once Jake arrives and wants his morning coffee fix.

Richard – I’m now on my way to earning my first polka dot, but it will take a while before I have enough for the full jersey. Thanks for all your help, advice and patience and good luck with your own racing.

Sam – I took your advice and stopped wearing my black T-Shirt. I picked up a red one, which looks so much better!

Thanks again for the excellent week and I will be passing word around the Triathlon and fell running clubs. Who knows what will happen! Regards Andy .

I came here on my own for a nine day break and frankly I had no idea what to expect. What I found was a Triathletes Heaven………..(lots more! See entry) Orla Limerick Tri Club, Ireland.

…. I really felt that I was living the best parts of the life of a Pro athlete for a few days (excluding my performance levels). I have returned home, raring to go out and train and try out all the things that I have leant whilst staying with you. Thank you as well for all your help, support and encouragement…Michelle enjoy the rest of your pregnancy and please remember that you are not allowed to lift heavy suitcases, bike bags and 50kgs of compost!…… All the best Phil.

Merci pour un super semaine d’entrainement! Gildas

Thank you for a very pleasant and enjoyable training experience. Fantastic food, location and coaching. Brenda

Many thanks for a brilliant week. I’m glad we managed to put the world to rights….. See you all soon Phil and Katie

PULSE TRI REPORT 2008– (2 pages! A very funny read, for when you get here!)

St Paul’s School, London (BESPOKE TRIP )

Thank you for a wonderfully successful trip. It has bee everything we could ever hoped for. All the very best Eugine.

Food, Fun? Paintball, Pool, Golf, Games, BEST EVER TOUR! Ben

Thanks so much, great fun the whole time! George

Top Draw, Thanks so much (Jack),

Lovely to see you all again, I new you’d come up trumps and have catered for our every need on every level! Will come and see you in Amelie soon (Lucy).

Awesome! Thanks for an amazing tour, one to remember for a long time. Sincerely grateful for making sure we had such a smooth and well-organized tour Thanks (Ed).

Thank you for such a brilliant Tour John.

Thank you so much for the superb organization, The Tour couldn’t have run any smoother. (x Eitan)

Above and beyond the call of Duty (x Will)

Thanks for the best tour ever! It could not have gone any better! (George).

You were absolutely BRILLIANT! (Peter). Thanks for the great Tour (Marco)…

Great food, Great Company, Great Weather, Great Scenery- worth all the pain!!! (Jill and Phil ).

I never write in here but her is to my first week training without my boys! Great week I can train 6 days in a row! (x Heth)

Thanks for a lovely week of eating and Training (in that order!) …. (Stuart and Tamsyn).

To coach Richard, host Michelle and entertainer Sam, thanks for yet another great few days training, just when I felt the winter back home in Ireland was going to kill off all my motivation…. 4 days in November in one of the most beautiful parts of France with one of the best coaches around will snap you out of any feeling sorry for yourself that you might have had……. Hope to see you sooner rather than later David (Pulse Tri Club).

Wow, what a fantastic week I’ve just had. I sneaked in with the Bedford Traktors to make up a party on nine that came out to glorious sunshine at the end of October . On this trip there were 3 new people and 6 old timers of mixed abilities. Over the week we have all improved and tackled the hills with amazing enthusiasm. I can honestly say, I’ve never enjoyed my time on a bike as much as this, and have gained enormously in terms of knowledge and self-belief thanks to the coaching. And even better after so many hours in the saddle you can eat loads of Michelle’s superb food without too many concerns. What Michelle and Richard have here is truly fantastic. No wonder people come back again and again. It has certainly provided me with more enthusiasm to train more and get fitter and faster. Sam is a smashing lad, and it is a shame I didn’t get the chance to wrestle him, next time for sure. Amelie is an interesting town, with some superb characters, the paddy whiskey doesn’t seem to provide hangovers, which can’t be bad………So Thanks, it has been superb in many, many ways. I do think my beach holidays are now numbered, as are rest days!!! Cheers Mark.

I have come a long way since I stepped off the plane 7 days ago a scared 1st time triathlete… (Whole page entry Thank YOU!)…I am refreshed, refocused, revitalized and looking forward to training on my bike ….Helen

Having just achieved my ambition of retiring early, I came out once again for great training, great company and really great food. Good going home to no work and already planning my next trip in October, where I hope to beat the old “heavyweight” ironman, who beat me last year!! (you know who you are) Thanks to all, Gregor (Pro Triathlete, July ), Visit no 6?

What a fantastic spot, fantastic life to lead. So many people to meet…all so genuine, fun and of course motivated! I wasn’t sure I had it in me to do lots of long, hard core cycles in the Pyrenees (and after a 4 am bed time the night before the first….I was still doubting) BUT, Richard sure knows how to get the best out of everyone. Really enjoyed the actual technical one on one coaching.

Probably learnt more in 5 days than in my whole sporting career.

I think I new before coming it would not only be an educational time from a sporting perspective but laid back, fun “no frills attached” good times. The cooking was just a bonus! (pity about being on a backpackers budget, maybe next time I can eat every night and go back 3 stone heavier – when no bridesmaids dress is insight!!)

If I don’t have a baby next year(!!) how much would you sell Sam for??? What a cutey – (it was all Catherines fault Gregor. All that baby malarkey..) Thanks a lot guys, hope to get back here again, Love. Rachel Rowberry

Thanks for another great few days here (Visit no. 6) Post- Etape – I was here more for R+R, than hard- core training, but still managed to fit in some good swim/run sessions. We saw the Tour in 3 different places and celebrated Bastille Day watching amazing fireworks in Carcassonne. Great company – Gregor and Rachel included! A fine few days. Many Thanks, Catherine (Exeter Tri / Tri Team XS).

…Our brief stay with you was brilliant. Situation, accommodation, food, food, food, advice, support, encouragement, motivation. I am sure we will be back, Thanks a lot.

Barry, Kit, Tim, David, Andrew, Dave

A few thoughts…….after a week at “Le Sancture des Sportifs”…..


I never thought I could train so hard.

I can’t believe I have been “tossing off” all this time.

I never thought it was possible to push large gears downhill.

Thanks Richard for the patience, coaching, helpful advice…and putting up with my “girlie questions”… I think I learnt more in a week than all I have learnt from 220 to date.


Thanks Michelle for the lovely cooking , being a great host. i really enjoyed the company (thanks for answering all my emails too!)

Sam :

Sorry for eating the rest of your dinner! I really thought you had finished..So, so , sorry. I hope by the time I am back the scars will have healed and you’ll forgive me! Promise I will bring something nice from Ireland to make up for it.


To come back again and run down the mountain Michelle, Rich and Sam did.

To use the thermal baths

To finish an Olympic in under 2.40

To do 1/2 iron man Ireland next year

To start contemplating even the remote possibility that I might at sometime do an IRONMAN

To do a Marathon by next May at the latest.

To retire to France by age 45

Thanks so much guys for everything, easily the best holiday I’ve had to date and hard to be beaten! Jackie ‘O

Thanks for a great week. We found it very motivating, particularly as the quality of the coaching was superb. The food was outstanding, in fact I thought we’d have to go on a diet when we got home, but we must have ended up burning a fair few calories – not least on Richard’s “killer” brick session.

The training venues speak for themselves, if only we had such great facilities back in blighty. The first two days, however were a bit of a shock to the system, being dropped continuously on the bikes by Andy and Gregor (wow what shiny bike shoes)- until Jon found his legs and from out of nowhere disappeared off ahead. Perhaps he was inspired by having seen Gregors’ sparkly new Orbea, which he let sleep in the bed next to him…or so we thought.

In fact, one major motivator to all of us was chocolate (don’t tell Sam). We spent an evening or two watching dubious horror movies and cramming in the chocolate, or being amused by Gregor’s “Skins” – which must have been working . They even helped him attract a bird into his room….

Jon is especially pleased with his new cycling jacket, and we obviously have to come again, as soon as you have one in my size! No seriously, we would love to come again, and have recommended Sancture Sportifs to many at our club, Thanks again , Jon and Liz (Thames Turbo).

P.S. Things I learnt on camp that I didn’t know before:

Apparently down hills can also go up (and don’t believe all Rich tells you!).

Even alcohol free beer tastes fantastic after a 3 hr bike ride.

According to Richard I can “only keep it up for 3 minutes” – hopefully he was talking about my biking.

What zone 5 on a bike really feels like – and it is not a feeling I like!

That lakes really can have warm water in them.

Our holiday was fab. Thank you very much. Work today, has dragged like you would not believe!

Just a huge thanks to add to Ali’s for giving me the confidence to hit Windsor…………..Will keep in touch and I expect we will be seeing you again soon. Ali and Dick

Had a fantastic week and learnt loads. The weather and food was superb and the company from Tri Preston was brill. I have learnt loads more and really appreciate it… Hopefully I will put it all into practice and achieve my goals this year!! Had a brilliant time at the thermals and wine tasting, which we needed!! Will be back soon, love to Richard, Michelle and Sam from “Smiler” xxxaka Shirley (Tri Preston)

Great week of rides, swims and runs, don’t want to go home! Will be back. Dave

Fab time – loved every minute. Learned loads, food brill. Back as soon as I can – Love to all three of you – Thankx loads. Alex (Tri Preston)

A big thank you to Richard, Michelle and Sam for a great week improving my technique – I can now put my head on backwards! Neil D. (Tri Preston)

A Massive THANK YOU for a fantastic week!! Never enjoyed myself as much, training hard!! Lovely tasty food, Thanks Michelle! Brilliant coaching – Thanks for your patience , Richard! Super Rugby games, a great big thank you SAM!! I will be back (hard luck guys) Love and Thanks Nicky Brookes (Tri Preston)

Thought I was fairly fit ’til I came here, then discovered you need to be very fit to go up some of those hills. Had a great time, took the advice on board and if I come back again I hope I won’t be the one Richard has to stay with at the back. Thanks to Richard, Michelle and Sam for being great hosts. Dawnx

….Thank you so much for a wicked week of training and for igniting my passion for the sport once more. I had given up on this year, but am now raring to go again. Also thank you for making me keep trying with the transition trainng! Really didn’t think I would have been scooting on and off my bike – major achievement!

Highlight of the week? not sure! Wine tasting was pretty high up there but I think my greatest buzz was the decent back down from Prats! Thanks again for an excellent week of training, eating, drinking, sleeping, drinking eating, sleeping……! Take care + see you all again next year.

Salut tout le monde!!! Juste un petit mot pour dire a quel point ce stage etait genial!!! Dur dur par moment mais vraiment super!!!………….Je pense que je ne me trompe pas si je dis un GRAND MERCI a michelle et Richard pour ce week end, pour leur accueil et leur gentillesse de la part de tout le monde……Tri Catalan

Back once again to play with Richard, Michelle, Sam and Leo.


Enjoy yourself, make the most of the facilities and the region, believe Michelle and Rich when they say you can finish the set/get up the hill….., drag R, M & S out for the evening SAM LOVES CHINESE FOOD! Have fun.


Rely on Richard working out the zones, give in to the flat uphills, challenge Sam to either “Rock , Paper, Scissors” or “Arm wrestling”, he is pretty good at both, go head to head with a 4x 4 (ask to see Di’s bike), make excuses…there is no “Try” only do or don’t do. Scott

…. So we came back, with no mullet or beer belly but with plenty of “catch up training” to be done. Thanks for putting us through the trauma of hill climbs and for “Flat hills – once again enjoyed them ( in a strange kind of way). As always food and company was great. Hope next time we can both stay for the week! Mally and Fiona

I came, I saw, I ate. I regretted not cycling for 5 months – BUT I still enjoyed it, Fab time, thanks…I’ll be back. Polly (Tri Lakeland Feb)

Had a great week – will clean my chain before I come next time!! Jenny (Tri Lakeland)

Had a fantastic week, nice burst of sunshine on the last day, fabulous food!! Many thanks

Rhiannon (Tri Lakeland )

Thanks once again for another memorable week…The hills somehow seemed longer and steeper this time around- but maybe that was just because “I only had a double!” I hope to see you all again soon. Stuart

Thanks R, M and S. Another tough week highlighted by the “Clans Togetherness”, despite my best efforts to get away. They’re pretty damn good those Scott’s boys…..Well done lads. Good stuff Gary, hanging in there despite the Ironman training …..No doubt we’ll see you again… unless……


My first week of training at Sancture Sportifs and what a tough week it has been: what with falling off my bike on the last day (my fault by the way) and coping with Richard’s training schedule. Well done to the Scotts and English lads fro the Traktors and Richard, Michelle and Sam for an enjoyable week. The big Gorilla

So the Bedford Traktors spring camp has come and gone: So many fantastic memories and so little strength left to write……..All went through the pain and suffering, all want to return. It’s a strange place is “Sancture Sportifs” it gets into your blood. So thanks to Michelle, Sam and even Richard. We love you all, at least we do now we’ve fininshed suffering Bedford Traktors

Dear all, Hello. It’s Henri Parkin here from Yorkshire. I wanted to say how much I loved been at your home…Sam was great and I like been his friend. Will he take me cycling when my legs are a bit longer?

Last week I went to Spain and France and I am only 10 WEEKS OLD. People in Amelie were great and asked how old I was. I hope I can learn French after I learn some English. My Dad says he was you first Coached athlete, and the first person Richard trained to an IRONMAN Finnish. I am now officially your youngest guest. I bet I beat his number of visits though, because I have loads of years to catch up. He says I have to learn to ride a bike soon, so that I can beat “the big Scottish lump” up COL D’LOO ROLL.

My mummy also loved her week and really appreciated (whatever that means) your help……We are back very soon, and I can’t wait. I enjoy flying more than mummy. HENRY PARKIN Visit no. 1( -AGE 10 weeks).

I was not quite sure what to expect, but it has been a fantastic week. Have established a firm foundation for the next 18 weeks of training, and then a successful day at I.M. Idaho, Richard no complaints about the rides, and you make some great lunches! Michelle I can only endorse all that has been said before. Many thanks to you both (and to Sam) Ian

Another fantastic, leg busting “weekend training” – a whole weeks training crammed into three days! ………….like Richard says I can climb like Tyler, but descend like Tyler’s mum.

Visit no 3? Sue and Andy  TEAM XS

………..(2 page entry, outlining humorously Richard’s Strengths and Weeknesses…….+ “Malcolm and Fiona, thanks for your company this week it was great to meet you and good luck with your training. P.S did you know that Rich can cook too!? Visit no. 4 Catherine TEAM XS

Wow, I didn’t know you could swim, cycle and run that way!! We came here for some hard training and got: great food, rest, sunshine, technique AND hard training. Thanks for everything- think we’ll take it easy for a week or so before beginning our assault on the German Triathlon scene. We’ll be back! Mally and Fiona

Thank you so much for a really enjoyable time – having been wound up a treat (as you can imagine) I really did wonder whether I would survive! Now of course I don’t want to go home, though it is probably a good idea, your cooking is so good that I must have been the only person to go home having put on weight despite a 300% increase in training volume over the week! t least having spent so much money on super bike kit (and with your tips) I will now get the bike out at home and with luck be better next time. Sam – please can you promise me that the next time you go free jumping over concrete seats you land on your feet! Lot’s of great memories to take back with me – so thank you v.v.v. much Caroline …and Max, Stuart, Rob and James!

Thank you for a memorable time I had in Amelie last week, I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. Sancture-Sportifs is more than the “Essential Training Experience”, it is an essential life experience. I wholly recommend Sancture-Sportifs to anyone with an open mind and a sense of adventure, but be warned, Richard is a compulsive liar, ” a flatish 2 hr ride” is definitely definitely not a flatish 2 hr ride!!! I I hope I’ll be back soon, best wishes Stuart

And now from the non – triathlete….! What a fantastic time I have had here! The entire time spent would be described as a mammoth “champagne moment”….Although the un-fitest of all (by far) I learnt so much that I am inspired if not driven to do a teeny weeny triathlon one day! As for the people we met, there is so much to say….Richard, Michelle, Sam – so friendly, caring, warm hearted…made me feel really comfortable and integrated into “triathlonism” As for Bedford Tracktors….well: a whole page can be read…….Company was excellent, food superb and Laughs constant. Thank you so much and hope to see you all again (Hopefully will be able to keep up with you all one day…!) Caroline

Note: If your reading this, then it’s already too late……

This place came recommended, but with a caveat “Go and enjoy it, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea….”WRONG!” If you’re reading this on the web site or in this book then you’ve arrived here for a reason – It is your cup of tea!! We were here with a group of Bedford Traktors (on their 3rd visit) and even that hasn’t detracted from the experience…Richard’s ability to cater for such a range of abilities within the same group is phenomenal. After 5 days I feel like Richard’s worked miracles with my biking, running and especially my swimming. Michelle accompanied us on some of the rides and she too was inspirational – and then managed to jump straight into the kitchen and be inspirational there too – season with a big heap of reality from Sam….PERFECT! We’ll be back…..Will you?! P.S. The facilities? The Views? The Climbs? SECOND TO NONE!

Hi Again, we’re back!

couldn’t stay away so got my people to have a word with French Traffic control to start a strike. No flights from Girona so now back in Amelie with wine and food – Thanks R,M and S- faultless hospitality again and we shouldn’t even be here!…Tom and Lise

Thanks for allowing us to have such a relaxing time out here! On the minimal biking we did do – great advice and tips – but Lise would have liked some help pushing her bike up hill!

“It goes up a bit here” said Richard as we encountered goats putting on their crampons. So a really enjoyable time and look forward to returning for some on road work on my new Orca – thanks Michelle. Tom and Lise

…Thank you for a fab 10 days, despite many tantrums (mainly 1/2 way up ‘easy’ climbs by me). We had a brilliant holiday and feel very much motivated to train harder over the winter and return next year to conquer even ‘easier’ hills (easier a la Richard!)…..walk down to the river, clamber over a few rocks ’til you find your own personal ice pool and take the plunge. It beats an ice bath any day and calms aching limbs down without the need for Richard style knee length socks!……Thanks for all the coaching tips. Tamsyn and Stuart

If you read this book, you will see entries from me a good few times. This is visit number seven I think…………cont. Plus a great IRONMAN RACE REPORT Greg and Heather TEAM XS

Thank you for opening my eyes to a world beyond Richmond Park! Still can’t say I love the hills like Liz and Mark but I’m getting there.

Rich – Thanks so much for the patience and encouragement. You realized early on that carrot, not stick gets the best out of the punter!

Michelle – Thank you for keeping me going with the finest sustenance. I really enjoyed training with you too.

Sam thanks for the shows at dinner – just great!

There will be no holding back on recommending sancture- sportifs! Looking forward to another trip, Billie

Sancture Sportifs= Genuine commitment beyond expectations! As Sam would say “impressive really” to see a training environment that can take the willing to a new level (of technical and physical capability). I learnt more in 5 weeks that what is possible in 5 years of reading and listening to commercially biased information. Thanks for making it a home away from home for a shy Aussie lad! Here are 5 great ways to hurt yourself:

Go on a 180 km ride in the Pyrenees with an ex Olympian cyclist, up an coming pro – cyclist and “Richard” Armstrong. Oh… please do it after 5 weeks of binge drinking.

Do a power test on the bike after the 180 km ride.

Lactate swim session – (up chuck in the pool makes it great for the next person)

Gorge run (“it’s an easy 35 min jog” says Richard).

Lake / Run – Swim 2 km the run back 18 km in 35 degrees.

Massive thanks – Rich Michelle and Magical Sam. Justin (5 weeks in July/August ) TEAM XS

Another whole page can be read about his “new training pals”

To think I nearly missed out on visiting your training haven and international dating service….and being talked into a return to triathlon amidst a season of marathons! I’m torn between wanting to tell everyone and no one about you, as it’s such a wonderful hidden gem! I’ll definitely be back next week for a start) and if I ever decide to return to triathlon because there aren’t enough gadgets and gears in running i’ll know who to come to! I’ve NEVER had so much help in 3 days!


The River after 24 miles running in the hills.

Michelle’s chocolate cake………..

An afternoon at the thermal baths to cleanse your soul and ease your aching limbs.

And so to my first triathlon in years…and showing the resident Ozzie what pommes are really made of….!! A bientot, Lucy

Thank you so much for your fantastic hospitality, great coaching and great company over the last two weeks. Look forward to seeing you all again soon, keep in touch………

Many thanks for proving without a doubt that I am clinically insane! What fun was had as we descended at a speed on our bikes on roads only a deranged mountain goat would consider. How we laughed as we sunk to the bottom of pool in exhaustion. Words failed us (as did our hearts) as we ran up inclines in 48 degrees (again not even contemplated by said goat).

Despite Richard’s best efforts we survived, fitter, stronger and more eligible for the white coats with wrap around sleeves that the nice men bought us. Joking apart, this “would be” triathlete has learnt more in this one week about technique, training and himself than he has in the last 20 years. For once I have a base on which I can go away and confidently build. Now it’s up to me (scary thought!) Thanks once again to Richard and Michelle excellent food) and Sam for lifesaving “marmite” provisions. P.S enjoyed company of other inmates and hope to meet them again. I do believe that the “uppity Colonial” could make a name for himself though he needs to steer clear of the “fairy bread Simon

Thanks again for a wonderful holiday…… good food , good training and going home leaner again…

Gregor  visit no 3 TEAM XS

Thanks for a great stay in a brilliant area.

The training was fantastic with helpful pointers from Richard. When I got here my intention was to be doing 4+ hrs on the bike each day. So when I arrived various routes of that length were already planned………I could see that the record breaking distance could be broken with various loops of Ceret and Amelie. So after spending 8 hrs 15 mins on the bike over mountains and through valleys I achieved 222 km. After more brilliant food I was ready for the rest of the week even the power test on friday afternoon, where I almost collapsed at 420 watts…..Brilliant food, Brilliant coaching and Brilliant Sam! I will be back in September, maybe with a food package of salt and vinegar crisps, malt loaf and marmite. Sam I expect results from your triathlons! P.S. Don’t let Justin near any women of any age! Chris  TEAM XS

It has been really great to have almost one – to – one tuition for more than one week. We have so many tips on training techniques to take back to England with us – enough to keep us going for quite some tome!! Everything else: Location, food, hospitality, company – top notch. Only downside: 10 days went by far too quickly!! thanks for all your time and patience! Vicki

Thanks to Rich and Michelle for a marvellous week and a bit, that has exceeded all our expectations. We could not have dreamed of having any better support, guidance and encouragement with all that we achieved – or are going to!! Shall be reporting back on progress. Hartly

Well it is the end of another eventful and extremely knackering week. Thank you very much for your coaching tips…..( a 3 page entry which ca be read here!) Jon, Gabs, Bert, Trev, Paul, Rachel, k8, Simon, and Drew (April 05) Best quote of the stay: K8 ” how many continents are there? “Rachel “What in England?”

Thanks again for a thoroughly enjoyable stay with excellent coaching and very healthy, tasty food. Company was excellent and many a subject discussed!! Will definitely be back and wish you all the best in the future  TEAM XS

Many thanks for your hospitality and welcome. The food was fantastic and the company never boring! Richard’s instruction was once again patient, encouraging and constructive. i hope one day to realize the potential I believe I have and that Richard has done his best to foster. I hope that my schedule and your blossoming business will see me a again in the near future and that I will be welcome once more at Sancture – Sportifs. Nick

Richard has brought a new meaning to “touching nipples” (swim) “pulling in belly buttons” (bike) and “——– a — ” (run) Thanks to both Richard and Michelle for a great training week. Sue


First time at this idyllic spot, but most certainly not the last. The training is second to none, the company has been great, including the three girls from last week! certainly Michelle provides the best cuisine in Amelie. Had a fantastic training week and looking forward to working with Richard. See you soon guys Andy  TEAM XS

Visit no 3 Catherine!!! TEAM XS

Richard and Michelle, thanks again for a great week of training and eating. I haven’t laughed so much for ages. I feel very relaxed…..I shall miss the mountains and the clean air but I shall be back, see you soon Fiona

Well third time lucky it was not to be… the local boys continue to tempt me…….(the next bit you will need to read yourselves when you get here as it is a bit too rude!) On a more sincere note: I have had another great trip, loved the biking, the running, the swimming, the food and the great friendliness you provide in bountiful measures. Good luck at IM FRANCE Rich and see you guys again. Helen

Spot on food – Thanks Michelle – Ate like monsters all week 5*****!

Spot on swing ball – Thanks Sam

Spot on training – Thanks Richard, Never thought 200 miles of cycling, in such great scenery and brilliant roads could go by so well. Great run/ swim sessions with the French tri club…..

Try the Cycle power test, but go first as you can laugh at your mates! Beware the ghekos in your running shoes! or your bed!!…. Brilliant Mark /Peter

Visit no 6!!!! Greg TEAM XS

…”Well Greg you have just won 3 million in the lottery, will you carry on working?”

“Don’t be stupid. I am off to Amelie – BYEEEE!!!” Thanks Rich, it all works, thanks Michelle – great food again, thanks Sam for being Sam………

Fantastic week of training with top support and coaching – thanks Richard! I’ll keep pedalling. Thanks Michelle for 5 Star meals and hospitality. I really enjoyed the whole holiday even through my rough patches with a cold!. The scenery and location is ideal and I would certainly like to visit again, if you can put up with me (OH NO!) Good luck in your own training and I hope you exceed your goals in Nice Richard. Thanks again Elaina March

Les Girls de l’ASTC ont passe un super weekend, super accueil, super entrainement et super repas. Un grand merci a Richard et Michelle pour tout. On reviendra c’est sur. Gros Bisous. Josy, Vero, Lise,

Bedford Traktors – Grudgingly, Admiral Tour Feb 2

Big breakfast, bigger hills, large pool, long sessions, enormous evening meal!! Multiply by 7 days and six nights then apply liberally to four post menopausal males (i.e. any bloke over 18). Sounds like training heaven. Pebble dash with effort, sprinkle with high winds, sun and snow, then stir thoroughly.

Michelle – Kitchen Dominatrix, food a speciality, hospitality a religion.

Richard – Coaching demon, tough on slackers, tough on the causes of slackers

Sam – Son, mentor, companion and guru to the above. The best is yet to come.

We’ve all had a fabulous time, splashing, stomping and twiddling. Hard to imagine that we could have trained harder, slept more or eaten less in several lifetimes. I came for a holiday and had an “experience”. Bloody marvellous. Triathlons equivalent of a pilgrimage to Mecca. Best climb is definitely the driveway, sorts out the wannabees from the has beens. If this had been any better I’d wake up and discover it was a dream. Nuff Said. Max

All of the above then quadrupled, Will be back!! James

f you wanna learn about triathlon, eat great food, enjoy hugely warm hospitality……and work damn hard – You’re in the right place. Enjoy your stay (we all massively have) and sleep well (no problem there). Rob

Thanks for a super relaxing time and most importantly, Michelle for helping me decide to do my first ever Triathlon@ Carcassonne. It was one of the hardest exercise things I have ever done but now I can’t wait for next year to do some more! Thanks for the introduction! See you soon ….Heather

Thank you for a brilliant week – the sport, cuisine, entertainment and “plant advice” were all to a very high standard. I am returning home feeling fitter and very relaxed. I can definitely see why you moved out here. I will be recommending you to all my training buddies. Looking forward to receiving my training programs, I am sure they will keep me busy until my next visit (if you will have me back!). Carys

The weather was fantastic, the area is undoubtedly beautiful, but the main reason we had such a successful trip was your brilliant company and welcoming nature…I hope that you are proud of my achievements because your coaching has made it all possible …Will be back of course and now training for IRONMAN FRANCE….Thanks for all the support , Greg  TEAM XS

I can only describe the weekend as compact, bijou and action packed – We squeezed in a pool swim, bike, run and a transition session on Saturday ( and bought a bike!), then a 20 km race and a lake swim on the Sunday plus too much beer and local wine!

Richard, Michelle & Sam were the perfect hosts and Richard’s tips inspired me to a PB on my 20 km race. Only one person could do better- his name is GEORDIE CHRIS, he will arrive one day.

Alistair & Nicola

THANK – YOU to all the family for a lovely stay and for making me feel so at home – I might be very bad at descending, but I had a great time. See you in March, Catherine (Nov. 04) TEAM XS

Great week. Good training even for a retiree (was Richard really dropped going up a mountain by a race walker!?) Food excellent but most of all great hospitality. I’ll be back…see you all soon, Martin Rush

…Personally I feel that this exhausting but brilliant week could only have been bettered by Richard taking a step class to cheesy French tunes! All the best and I will be back next year…. Charmaine

….Well what more can I say – what an eventful week in every fashion “Action packed is not the word!” Thanks for all the training , accommodation BBQ lunches and interesting men…. Really enjoyed my time here in beautiful Amelie with lots of top tips to focus on. Clare

Back again so soon! Another great week of hospitality and some cruel hills!!! Note to myself… don’t tell Richard my maximum distance next time, then he can’t try to exceed it every day! Still the views improve with fitness levels so there are some benefits!!! Thanks to Michelle for some excellent food ( and SiS for Rego) the pick your own cherries were yummy too… Edward

Thanks again for a wonderful week training and the warm hospitality. I look forward to coming again and hopefully tackling those mountains with better fitness. Jen,

Now we are back, just a quick note to say thank you very much for a great week from us all. We can’t say a bad word against the week and we will be back the same time next year so please provisionally book us in for a week. Kind Regards Paul ( Gears and Tears @ Canet )

Thanks to Richard & Michelle for a great week and for being such wonderful hosts. The accommodation is excellent & Amelie is a lovely town, Thanks for Scott & Eddie for great company and looking after us on our ” flat” 20 mile run, warning Richard doesn’t do Flat…!! Amazing Cycling in Beautiful Scenery, Big hills , but I managed them fine, and it’s excellent preparation for the Etape in July. A hard week with lots of cycling and running ( 15hrs ),+7 hrs Nice 50m pool in Perpignan and a very, very cold Lake ( it was March!). Going Home to Sleep for 2 days…. All the best and Thanks very much. Nick (Ipswich Tri Club)

Great weeks training, loads of flat hills!!!! Sore legs!!!!! Thanks for everything. Marc (Ilford A.C.Tri)

The accommodation and hospitality is out-standing. Peter O’Conner

I have had a great weeks training, Scott has an over active imagination!!! Thanks again

Di and Scott Murry

I would write Scott’s comments too but they are far too long and very imaginative, you can enjoy reading them (“Scott and Di’s essential adventure” when you visit . Richard

Thanks so much for providing us with such a lovely place to stay. Not much training!! but loads of sightseeing and places to visit. Marianne and Trevor,

As soon as I arrived at the airport meeting Michelle for the 1st time, was as if we had known each other for ages. My stay at Amelie has been a short one as I am off to Canet-Plage tomorrow after 205 km ride. The house is great, made to feel very very welcome, The food has been great, the Training was a bit cold on the bike but Awesome riding here. One thing that did annoy me was Rich’s backside… How can someone with a bigger bum than me run so well, ride his bike up Mountains so easily it’s just not fair. Thanks for a really great time. I will most certainly be coming back and will be spreading the word to the rest of the world. Stuart Dinwoodie

Also very worth a read is Stuarts account of the “No possible Tour” a 205 KM RIDE

We did come back! Next time remind me not to enter a cross- country race the afternoon after a 130k bike. In fact remind me not ot enter a cross -country race at all!


…Was made to feel very welcome, great training and a great kick- start to my season in beautiful countryside. Loved the hills and the weather! Quality food to come back to , and sights to see when not training too! Simon

Despite the snow, rain and wind, I’ve had a great training camp again! Thanks to Rich & the local ‘Boys’ for some great rides. I’ve really enjoyed myself again. Helen,

Un grand merci du “Cycling Pro Team Triathlon Catalan Girls” !!! Merci pour votre gentilesse, votre accueil chaleureux and the best Coaching!!! Triathlon Catalan

Merci pour tout!! Supper accuiel, super coach, Diner tres agreable, A la prochaine pour un nouveaux stage. Junior Triathlon Catalan 04

Had a really good ” Relaxing week!!”, I was made to feel very welcome, great training and a kick start to my season in beautiful countryside, loved the hills and the weather. Richard cheers for towing me round all week!, Michelle thanks for the fodder ( everyone must try her creme brulle, from a 500 year old french recipe!!) Simon

“Great rides & runs thanks Richard, fantastic food thanks Michelle and thank you both for your friendliness and good company and Sam…. you are a little ruffian”. Helen MacVicker

“Nice to have a holiday and training camp we’ll be back”. Jack Maitland

“Thanks for a great week very relaxing in an energetic way”. Fiona Hoare

“Je confirme tes dire entrainments tres sympa et plein de competence le tout sur fond de paridis (chambre coquette, accuiel, tres chaleureux) et que dire de la haute cuisine anglaise : DELICIOUS!!.. Quant a la tarte de Michelle le mieux est d’aller la beguster sur place au Le Sancture des Sportifs a Amelie les Bains. Bref c’est le club med du Triathlon en France”.

Tri Catalan

I have had a fantastic week here running, cycling and swimming. The food, entertainment, Training, everything, has been spot on, I couldn’t ask for more. I’ll be back next year!

“I came to re-motivate myself- in life as well as triathlon and was successful on both counts!! The cycling was excellent and its what attracted me to France in the 1st Instance. The training that Richard gave me was worth the price and more- never mind the excellent accommodation. I stayed on a full board basis and found all food to be brilliant and more than cost effective

( moules mariner avec frites… to die for). But now to the crux of the week I had here… I am proud to say I visited, I am proud to say that I have asked Richard to be my coach for triathlon on a full time basis, but more than ever I am proud to call Richard, Michelle and Sam my friends. Thanks. I loved it and will be back… If only to gander at the ‘Cafe du Paris’ I swear that with the right training I can make it to the toilet! ps. I hope Sam signs for England and not France”.

Greg Parkin

Great Facilities, lovely hosts and good hard training. We will be back!! Many Thanks.

Taken from the Bikemagic web site :

“Just returned from a family holiday in the South of France. While I was over there myself and a friend did a spot of Mountain Biking, We got in touch with two great people Rich and Michelle who run “Le Sancture des Sportifs” that is the name of a small but friendly outdoor pursuit centre, Michelle showed us around the accommodation and I am not kidding you it is 5 Star, we spent the day with Rich in the mountains od the Pyrenees Orientals, what a great place for Mountain Biking, it’s as if God made it for us, there great trails every where, and some technical descents. The Centre is situated in a typically french village with some spectacular views, great bars and tasty restaurants, its got to be best bargain ever”. Mario Marin

“We have had a wonderful holiday very relaxing and enjoyable! your hospitality has been splendid and we hope to be back in the future! lots of Laughs, lots of sunshine and a little bit of training made a great break – best wishes”.

“I concur with the above!!! I think you guys have found an undiscovered gem, which in due course will become a gold mine, it has been a pleasure to stay, dancing at “Cafe de Paris” was a blast, the climbs and views are even better. see you soon”. Mark

“Sur le prochain stage de Michelle et Richard, je peux vous fournir quelques precisions, (ayant participe au precedent) le site est parfait, la qualite de l’entraineur (deja apprecie par tous) l’hebergement***, quand a la nourriture…parfaite mais pour plus de precision vous pouvez demander a Xavier (qui me parle encore de la tarte de Michelle!) Un stage detente/loisir et ca existe!!! ” Patrick

Great hosts, accommodation, food, transport, training, wine, views etc. etc. etc. Yep had a lovely time, short but sweet but well worth it , Many thanks for a four day holiday, we will be back & bring the team next time!. Amanda and Steve( Bedford TraktorsTri Club)

“We’ve had an absolutely wonderful holiday, our thanks to the whole family for making such a memorable one. We wish you luck for the future”. Carol, Janet + big kiss for Sam X

“Thoroughly enjoyed our visit, weather as promised. Many thanks for the superb hospitality. For Peter – Swimming at Canet Plage Excellent but would have preferred being allowed to look left and right instead of at the bottom of the pool. We will be back soon”. Joan & Peter Hamilton

London Fire Brigade Cycling Club:

“Great facilities, lovely hosts and good hard training. We will be back!! Many thanks”. D. Wright

An Excellent stay”. Peter Fordham

“Accommodation first class and we will be back – so be warned” Caroline

“What a gem!…fantastic scenery, good food…wonderful area… wonderful .accommodation …wishing you every success in the future, thanks for all your help”. Tim, Kate Matt, Rob, Em.

“The accommodation and hospitality is out-standing”. Thank you”. Peter

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