[I]f you have ever wondered if you have the legs to be a professional cyclist now’s your chance to find out and do some good for others at the same time by swapping Cumbria’s peaks to cross the French Alps via a route regularly taken on the Tour de France!
This coming September, a 24-strong party will head over to Nimes for a seven day, 512-mile cycle challenge with climbs up among others Mont Ventoux, known as the Giant of Provence, and the 21 hairpin bends that ascend the summit of Alpe D’Huez. In total, cyclists will scale more than 56,600ft!
Yet, it is all in a good cause as the ride is raising money for Rosemere Cancer Foundation, a charity that over the last 12 months has invested £142,428 in projects to benefit local cancer patients being treated at hospitals in Kendal, Lancaster and Barrow, as well as a Lancashire-based youth charity.
The challenge is being organised by businessman Ste Pritchard, a keen cyclist, who has previously supported both charities and has undertaken similar cycle challenges. Ste said: “The challenge is open to men and women of all ages and abilities but it does require commitment.
“It is not something that can be achieved without a lot of training. Pre challenge, every participant is assigned his or her own mentor and tailored training programme with ongoing training and dietary advice provided by elite race team riders and coaches, including support from the Team GB staff at Manchester Velodrome. There’s also regular team rides to assess progress.
“During the challenge, the riders are fully supported in a way that matches the mechanical and other help given to professionals.”
There are just eight spare challenge places left on what is actually a second Alps adventure, which has been added after all team places for the first one that sets out at the very beginning of September – this second one takes place from 22nd to 29th September – were immediately snapped up.
Each rider funds their own place and all pre and during event support at a cost £1,250, which also includes flights, accommodation and meals. They are also asked to raise a minimum of £300 in sponsorship for the charities. Added Ste: “Exactly the same trip through commercial sports tour operators costs more than double this, and that is without the support and mentoring leading up to the event. The journey challengers are taken on prior is equally as fun as the challenge destination itself.”
For further information on the challenge, visit www.cycle-the-alps.co.uk. To register interest in taking a place, email [email protected] or call 07976 685395. All would-be participants have to take part in a practice ride before a place on the challenge can be confirmed.
Rosemere Cancer Foundation spends the donations it receives on cutting edge equipment, research and training that cannot be funded by the NHS. The charity also funds those things that can make the cancer journey a little more comfortable such as free access to complementary therapies for all newly diagnosed patients, special chairs and portable DVD players and films for those undergoing chemotherapy and the creation of quiet rooms, information hubs and healing environments where treatment is given.