The cyclists taking part in the Massif Challenge from Elliotts, the independent supplier of building products for the trade and public, have returned from France after their participation in the event.
The epic ride organised by Challenge Adventure Charities, took place at the end of September and saw 48 teams of ambitious cyclists come together to tackle the 550-mile stretch of this year’s Tour de France route in just three days to raise money for charities such as Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation, along with others nominated by the teams.
The route took teams of twos, threes and fours from the starting point at the Channel port of Saint-Malo, on through Normandy to the Loire Valley, before rising through the Massif Central and finishing in Clermont-Ferrand. The riders encountered a variety of terrains and weather conditions over the three days, with the longest stretch seeing them cycle over 230miles in a single day. Overall, the teams climbed 8,607m including the 15% climb of the Puy Mary, which is the steepest climb ever included in the challenge.
Stuart Mason-Elliott, chairman of Elliotts and founder Trustee of Challenge Adventure Charities, encouraged teams from across the building industry to take part. As well as four teams from Elliotts, this year also included teams from Marley Eternit, Kent Blaxill, Bence of Cheltenham, Alsford Timber and Polypipe who returned as the main event sponsors. New riders this year included Chris Hayward, managing director of NMBS and other builders’ merchants and developers.
The cycling charity has been running since 1996 and has seen incredible event participation from a diverse range of riders. This year the event not only celebrated its 20th anniversary, but since its inception has taken the total funds raised for charity to more than £4m, much of which has been donated by suppliers to the building industry.
“This is a challenge that is close to our hearts,” said Mr Mason-Elliott. “Elliotts, along with clients, customers and friends has taken on these challenges for the last 20 years, and it makes me proud to say that the drive to raise money for such brilliant causes is such a priority for us and our extended network.
“Raising a total of £4m isn’t something we ever dreamt we could achieve, and each and every participant that has taken part in this event’s history should be ecstatic about their contribution.”