Seventeen cyclists from Guernsey are making their final preparations before tackling one of the UK’s toughest long-distance cycling challenges – the Deloitte Ride Across Britain.
The nine-day, 969-mile event will see the cyclists pedal from Land’s End to John O’Groats – the cycling equivalent of nine marathons back-to-back – and in the process they hope to raise thousands of pounds for disability sport.
The Deloitte Ride Across Britain is widely recognised as the UK’s most challenging long-distance cycling event and takes in some of the country’s most breathtaking landscapes. Riders will set off from Land’s End and cycle through Dartmoor, the Lake District, the Scottish Highlands and plenty more in between, before finishing at John O’Groats.
The Guernsey participants have been training hard for over six months and all feel confident of completing this classic ‘end to end’ ride. They will cycle through 23 counties, tackle hills reaching the equivalent of two Mount Everests and the longest day will see them ride 130 miles.
The team includes Steph Setters and John Price, who have recently married and are taking the ride as their honeymoon.
Now in its fifth year, the Deloitte Ride Across Britain has raised nearly £1.5 million for the British Paralympic Association thanks to 2,600 riders who between them have ridden 2,500,000 miles. This sponsorship supported the London 2012 Paralympic team and the event will continue as the Deloitte Ride Across Britain forwards to 2016 to help the team prepare for the Rio Paralympics.
Closer to home, this year a number of the Guernsey cyclists are raising money for the Guernsey Sports Association for the Disabled. This includes a group led by Rick Garrard a former senior partner of Deloitte offshore. Locally, Deloitte has recently made a three-year commitment to supporting disability sport on the island and will work closely with the Sports Commission to help it meet the sporting needs and ambitions of Guernsey’s disabled community.
The group includes Alex Adam, a director at Deloitte, who says: ‘I think we are all nervous and excited about the ride. Training in Guernsey for this kind of event does present its own challenges; we need to be prepared to tackle elevations of up to 8,400 feet, which is the equivalent of climbing the Val des Terres 28 times.’
John Clacy, a lead partner at Deloitte Guernsey, took part in the ride in 2012 and comments: ‘It was a truly great experience. On the route from Glasgow to Fort William we had to ride over 135 miles, up 6,000 feet of hills and into a 40mph headwind, and the fact that we could all work together to draft through the wind and give each other encouragement was priceless. I wish the team from Guernsey a safe journey and applaud their fundraising efforts.’