Twenty cyclists have completed The Children’s Centre Bordeaux to Barcelona Cycle Challenge, pedalling their way above and beyond their fundraising target.
The group, which included 17 locals, departed Bordeaux in France on an epic Pyrenean adventure, facing nine days of solid cycling, spanning 560 miles across two counties, with 62,000 feet of climbing including eight mountain summits.
The fundraiser was organised by The Children’s Centre, which transported the bikes to France, with support from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.
The cyclists had hoped to raise £20,000 for the Centre but in the end raised more than £30,000.
Events’ Organiser, Lisa Motley, said: ‘On behalf of The Children’s Centre, I would like to say a big “thank you” to our headline sponsors - Aon Insurance Managers, Isle of Man, with additional invaluable support from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, Thomas Miller Captive Management Limited, Knox House Trust and Bikestyle. To have these amazing sponsors on board ensures all of the money raised by our group of intrepid cyclists goes directly to supporting our charitable services.’
The cyclists undertook their own fundraising and for some it represented a significant physical and mental challenge. Dave Hogg, a Director at Aon, didn’t start riding his bike again until 2016 after a 15-year hiatus. Before starting the event, Dave tried to convert the statistics for the ride to a more relatable route. He said: ‘I worked out that it was the equivalent of cycling Brighton to Glasgow, climbing over Mount Everest twice!
‘I’d ridden around the Isle of Man for three years, but it was a fantastic experience to have taken on some of Europe’s most iconic climbs. Stage 14 from the 2019 Tour de France finished at the summit of the Tourmalet and it’s fair to say I was a tad nervous about it all, but the views were breathtaking and we were all left with a huge sense of achievement. Plus, the descent was every cyclist’s dream -14 miles straight down.’
Chief Executive of the Steam Packet Company, Mark Woodward, added: ‘Congratulations to the cyclists who completed the Bordeaux to Barcelona challenge. We’re pleased to have been able to support their efforts to raise money for The Children’s Centre, which does such vital work in the Isle of Man.’