Protyre charity cyclists clip in for Paris challenge
The 23 riders are pedalling the 160-mile route over three days to raise vital funds for the Great North Air Ambulance Service.
Led by area manager Neil Jones, the team includes retail director Simon Hiorns, Finance Director John Cowles, Operations Director Mark Harley, six Area Managers and eight Centre Managers and Tyre Technicians!
The cyclists are being supported in their attempt by three colleagues driving two vans and a motorbike, carrying crucial kit and assisting with any issues they encounter on the way.
The team are set to arrive in Paris at approximately 3pm on Tuesday 14th
Impressively, three of the riders – Simon Hiorns, Neil Jones and Jamie Cole - will then turn around and attempt to ride back to London in a single determined push!
Before they departed from Downing Street, the team were thrilled to receive a message of good luck from three-time world champ, two-time Olympic gold medalist and 2018 Tour de France winner, Geraint Thomas OBE.
In the video message, sent from the Team Ineos cyclist’s camp in Switzerland ahead of competing in the Tour de Romandie, Geraint said: “Just wanted to say a huge ‘good luck’ for your ride from London to Paris, hope you have fun and good luck. Enjoy!”
Support also came from British National Road Race champion, Connor Swift: “Wishing you and all the guys at Protyre the best of luck on your charity ride from London to Paris and stay safe on the road.”
Riders in action
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Neil comments: “We’ve trained really hard for this charity challenge but to receive this message from Geraint gave us a huge boost. He’s a legend in the world of cycling and it was great to set off with his message ringing in our ears. Day one went exactly to plan, clocking up just under 60 miles before boarding the ferry at Newhaven to cross the channel. From Dieppe we’ll cover another 60 miles before an overnight pause in Beauvais before the final push into Paris on Tuesday.
“We’re thrilled to have now raised over £16,000 for the Great North Air Ambulance Service - way beyond our original target of £10,000. This charity does really important work and I know this amount will prove very beneficial. I’d like to thank everyone in Protyre for their support, and of course our sponsors, many of whom are suppliers and customers. They’ve helped us make a difference.”
The Great North Air Ambulance service operates 3 emergency helicopters across the North East and Cumbria. In the last financial year, its air ambulances attended 1,062 accidents in the region, 395 of which were road traffic collisions. The service is fully reliant on charitable donations to fund the £5.1million needed annually to continue operating.
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