TWO cyclists taking part in an epic, 64-day, 6,900 kilometre awareness and fundraising cycle ride around the British coast have reached south Wales today, Friday (Aug 21).
Robin Young and Hugh Roberts have embarked on The Great Tour to raise vital funds for Diabetes UK and Ambitious about Autism in 2020.
The Great Tour reaches Llanelli today (Day 49, Friday 21 August) after 5,300 kilometres and the equivalent of having climbed Everest five times (over 44,000 metres) during the preceding 48 days. Unfortunately due to the weather conditions the ride from Pembroke Dock to Llanelli had to be halted for safety reasons, with the plan to resume in Llanelli on Saturday morning for Day 50.
Saturday will see the cyclists head a further 111 kilometres to Porthcawl and then 93 kilometres to Newport on Sunday (23 August). Monday will see The Great Tour starting from outside the Geraint Thomas National Velodrome in Newport and cycling across the Severn Bridge to finish in Bristol. The event aims to finish back on the Isle of Wight on Saturday 5 September.
Robin, who lives in the New Forest, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2017 and is using The Great Tour to show that diabetes is serious but manageable. Diabetes UK, the leading charity for people living with diabetes, helps people understand and manage the condition. With growing numbers of people being diagnosed with diabetes, the charity’s vision is to build a world where diabetes can do no harm.
Commenting on The Great Tour, Robin Young said, “The east coast seems a long time ago. The hills, epic views, aching legs (and ghastly weather) of Scotland are memories now. The North West has been kind. But there are some brutal days ahead in Wales and the south west of England, and I’m taking nothing for granted. The toughest third of the ride is still to come. People are making the effort all seem worthwhile with their support. We’re over 20% of our funding target now and expecting this to swell as the finish line approaches. Our target of £69,000 is equivalent to £10 per km. If we can achieve that or more, we will be ecstatic.”
“We are so grateful that The Great Tour has picked Diabetes UK to be one of its chosen charities for this year’s challenge,” said Matt Lawley, Community Fundraising Manager for Diabetes UK. “During the past few months, demand for our services has reached unprecedented levels and our own funding has been significantly impacted.
“People with diabetes need us now, and so we need the support from people, such as Robin and Hugh, to be able to continue fighting. We wish them the best of luck and encourage everyone to support them however you can – your support can change lives.”
Hugh and Robin have been joined by cycling clubs, colleagues and luminaries over the previous six weeks, including former professional cyclist Pippa York who rode around Scotland, and while injury forced Hugh to miss a period of the ride in Scotland, he instead turned to a support role, encouraging Robin throughout, before getting back on his bike for the final four weeks.
Commenting on The Great Tour, Hugh Roberts said;
“The Great Tour has reminded of the sense of absolute freedom and satisfaction that you get from riding along our unsurpassable richly varied coastlines.
“We are looking forward to arriving back at Ryde on the Isle of Wight on Saturday 5 September having completed the rest of this cycling odyssey, which I hope thousands more people will be able to enjoy in years to come as a way of raising funds for good causes themselves.”
The Great Tour event has taken place twice before, in 2010 and 2015, and follows the coastline of Britain, never losing the sight, sound, smell or sense of the sea.
Inspired by The Great Tour event that took place in 2010 and 2015, SweetSpot Founder and Managing Director Hugh Roberts and long-time friend Robin Young are using the ride to fill the gap between when the Women’s Tour and Tour of Britain professional cycle races should have taken place, had they not been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
From 2021 the Great Tour ride will be the fundraising flagship of The Great Tour, for which charitable status is being sought. This annual event will raise money to support projects or charities in community, health and environmental sectors – all of which are consistent with the Great Tour’s ethos.
More information about The Great Tour can be found at www.thegreattour.co.uk and you can find out more and donate via the Just Giving page here.
Past editions of The Great Tour in 2010 and 2015 have supported a range of health charities, including The Prostate Cancer Charity, MacMillan and Anthony Nolan.