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A team of 15 celebrity cyclists have raised £20,000 after completing Cycle Challenge Wales, a grueling 500 mile cycle ride around Wales.
On Saturday 12th June, Welsh X Factor finalist Rhydian Roberts rode the final leg of the journey with the team which included former Wales player and British Lion Colin Charvis; former Wales players Kevin Morgan and Richard Parks; Gwent Dragons player Rhodri Gomer Davies; Aled Brew who plays for the Gwent Dragons and Wales; video analyst Will Precious; physiotherapist Nikki McLaughlin and conditioning coach James Knight, all from the Gwent Dragons; Cardiff Bay chiropractor Ben Mathew and Rhys Thomas, an ankle surgeon, and consultant to the Welsh rugby team.
Mark Colbourne, the British C2 indoor cycling record holder, was the expert rider among them with the Air Ambulance Service, one of the team’s chosen charities, being a cause particularly close to his heart. An Air Ambulance crew rescued him when a paragliding accident left him with a spinal injury.
The £20,000 raised will be distributed between Spring Valley Primary School in Nairobi, Wales Air Ambulance, Velindre Cancer Centre, Cardiff and Ty Gobaith Children's Hospice, North Wales.
Rhodri Gomer-Davies, who plays centre for the Newport Gwent Dragons said: “It was one of the
toughest and most inspiring challenges I’ve faced in my life. You get plenty as a professional rugby player but this was something completely different. We were covering an average of 70+ miles a day and some of the routes were quite challenging.
“But it was a fantastic feeling to finish. There were a few tired legs but we’ve had great support from a number of organisations and individuals. Thanks to all those who helped us including our main sponsor SKL Consulting for getting behind us and making it happen. We had great support from people the whole way round and the scenery was amazing. We’re keen to do it again next year and make the Wales Cycle Challenge bigger and better.”
The team left the Vale Resort, Hensol, on the Saturday morning and was waved off by the Wales rugby team, who were at their training camp at the Resort before their game against South Africa. Olympic gold and silver medallist Darren Campbell also turned up to offer his support. The sprinter joked with his fellow sportsmen that pain would become their close friend over the coming week.
They went on to travel through Llandrindod Wells, Ruthin, Caernarfon, Dolgellau, Aberaeron and St David’s. Saturday’s final leg saw them leave Swansea Uplands RFC for the Vale Resort, where they celebrated with a barbecue with family and friends.
Colin Charvis recently took part in the Sport Relief Cycle Slam ride with Lawrence Dallaglio. Rhodri Gomer Davies said: “It was great to get back to the Vale Resort, which is a fantastic place to relax, unwind and celebrate.”
The Vale Resort offers world class sporting facilities and champions elite sport and the cycle team wore the Resort’s logo on their shirts along with those of other sponsors. The Resort is home to a £4 million WRU National Centre of Excellence and also boasts training facilities for the Cardiff Blues, Cardiff City FC and the Welsh Football Association.
Stephen Leeke, Managing Director of the Vale Resort said: “We’re very proud to have supported this team of accomplished sportsmen to help raise money for such worthwhile charities. Supporting sport is something that we believe in and wholly support both from a family and commercial point of view. Congratulations to all the cyclists on their efforts.”
The Cycle Challenge Wales’ Just Giving fundraising page will be live for another month at www.justgiving.com/cyclechallengewales