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Cumbria cycling challenge raises £1m

Published on: Wednesday 2nd December 2015
Categorised under: Active , Cumbria, Lifestyle, Sport

The Fred Whitton Challenge held a special dinner at the Grange Hotel in Grange to celebrate the event's achievement in raising £1m for local charities.

The celebration was an all day affair with most of the guests taking in a cycle ride around Arnside and Silverdale showcasing the local scenery.

The main guest for the evening was Ian Stannard, Tour De France rider with Team Sky, who presented a cheque for £125,000 to Sue MacDonald of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Also presented on the night were £20,000 each to The Great North Air Ambulance, The North West Air Ambulance, and The Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue.

The event has now been running for 16 years and has become the most popular Cyclo Sportive in the country. Entrants now have to go into a lottery to decide places.

Along with the main charities, the event helps local Youth Cycling projects ranging from BMX, girls and boys youth racing, youth handicapped riders, school cycling workshops, and provides events for youth racing in all its forms.

Paul Loftus, who has organised the event along with the Lakes Road Club and friends for the last 16 years, says the 112 mile ride has become an established major Cumbrian event, and has proved to be the forerunner of many other similar rides in the country.

He said: “It has surpassed all our wildest dreams that with starting off with 66 riders in 1999 we now have to limit the ride to 2,500.”

Paul is now handing over the organisation to Stuart Emms, who aims to continue with this now-iconic event and raise yet more money for charity. Paul would like to thank all the people from Cumbria and beyond who have helped make this event the success it is.

The date for the 2016 ride is Sunday May 8. Entry details are available at

Article taken from the North-West Evening Mail.

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