Sidmouth cyclists take on 70k challenge

Sidmouth cyclists raise cash for Prostate charity in gruelling ride

DAYS ahead of the official Tour of Britain cycle race, teams of councillors and council officers from Sidmouth, as well as a group of amateur cyclists from the town, took part in a gruelling 70 kilometre cycle challenge on Sunday to raise funds for The Prostate Cancer Charity.

Stars from the worlds of television and sport joined in the ride, or cheered from the sidelines, including Olympic gold medallist Daley Thompson, who met up with Sidmouth councillors Chris Wale, Stuart Hughes and Ottery St Mary councillor Roger Giles, who completed the ride, leaving from Sidmouth.

Organised by the Tour of Britain for the cancer charity, 16 Sidmouth cyclists successfully completed the ride after leaving from Minehead and doing the whole route to Teignmouth - the same route next week’s Tour contestants will use.

In all some 2,000 took part, most of them riding through Sidmouth on their way to the finish line.

Nick Keast who with brothers John and Mark, and Andy Sturgess, took on the challenge, described the weather at Minehead as “particularly inclement” with slippery roads, awash with debris that caused many punctures.

“Exmoor was traversed twice before the route wound its way towards Honiton via hills such as Wellington Monument, Hemyock and Dunkeswell.

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“After a good refuel at Honiton, the weather was fairer and it was on to Sidmouth and up Peak Hill.

“With 80 miles in weary legs, many riders were surprised by Peak Hill’s steepness and had to dismount and push their bikes,” said Nick.

He said the support up Peak Hill was fantastic, “in particular at the summit where the cheers and cow bells were loudest!”

It was then “downhill” all the way to the finish at Teignmouth “apart from a headwind all the way down the Exe estuary, which was a bit of a sting in the tail.”

Those completing the course from Minehead with the Keasts were David Rampersad, Ian Robson, Sean Faulkner, Geoff Keenan, Michael Baker, Nicholas Read, David Palmer, Sue Tubbs, Craig Badcock, Andrew Jarrett, William Emmett, Mike Stamp, Jon Miller, Chris Stone and Huw Hennessy.