The Bristol to Bordeaux challenge returned this year bigger and better than ever, with 62 riders pushing their legs to the limit to raise over £75,000 for PROPS so far.
For the last 2 years a group of cyclists and PROPS Trainees have been eagerly waiting and getting their training miles in ready for the return of the famous Bristol to Bordeaux Cycle Challenge.
The 4 day, 500 mile bike ride from Bristol to its twin city of Bordeaux in the South West of France, is open to everyone, of all ages and abilities, and is the highlight of the year for lots of us, leaving a huge hole in our lives during the 2 years hiatus of the pandemic.
Many of the riders originally signed up in 2019, so when the day finally arrived for the 62 riders and 30 support staff to gather at the start line, it felt very surreal to finally be on the way.
There were few more excited than PROPS Trainees Aaron and Matt, who trained tirelessly over the last 2 years to be ready for the challenge.
This was Aaron’s first time attempting anything like this, and the mental as well as physical preparation he undertook for this mammoth adventure was something to behold! It all paid off in the end, as Aaron even smashed a 93 mile day on day 3! You can support Aaron’s fundraiser here.
For Matt, it was his 8th year taking on the challenge, he said
It’s great every year, this was the hottest year yet. It was knackering on day 3 as we did the most miles we’ve ever done! My favourite part is jumping in the fountain at the end.
The rest of the 60 riders, a mixture of first time and returning faces, all paid their own expenses for the trip and undertook almighty fundraising efforts so that every penny raised could go to PROPS.
We’re so grateful for all the hard work that riders put into fundraising, £75,000 is a game-changing amount of money and will directly help fund work creating opportunities for adults with learning disabilities across the city. Opportunities like our new brewery and Café social enterprises which will provide training and routes to employment for PROPS Trainees.
Our biggest fundraiser so far is Craig Lambert, who has raised almost £6,000 and counting with his sweepstake to win a stay in a Cotswold cottage!
A special tribute was made to Neil Maddocks, a long term PROPS and Bristol to Bordeaux supporter, with riders bottles dedicated to him.
There were also awards on some nights for best rider and best support who wore bobbles the next day as they rode (see below for some colourful riders).
There’s so many thanks to go around but a special thanks to all our sponsors Bailey of Bristol our top sponsor with a team of 6 and providing one of their vehicles, Winford Ford who provided 4 support vehicles and a big family team as usual, Motability who provided the dinner and drinks on final night, Bristol Physio, ARAG, BrandpointZero who also provided a new team this year, BW Cycling with their very own Pete Spencer riding for the first time this year, Octagon and Undebt.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing this year as Brexit complications meant that a number of bikes were held up at the port meaning only one bike and one plucky rider were able to make the second leg of the journey through to Nantes.
The support team worked through the night to make sure the bikes made their way to Nantes and the riders more than made up for lost cycling time in the final two days, battling scorching hot conditions through seemingly endless forest, fields of sunflowers and countless vineyards to reach their final destination!
As always, the final celebrations were something to behold and the atmosphere was electric as everyone honored their hot, sweaty achievement! Huge congratulations and thank you again to everyone involved!
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