After 800 miles, seven days in the saddle and a cumulative ascent of well over 40,000 feet, the RKH Foundation cyclists crossed the finishing line outside Lloyd’s on Thursday 10th July..
They were met by a cheering crowd of flag-waving supporters, made up of sponsors, friends and family, colleagues, representatives from Maggie’s and a very enthusiastic class of children from the Hague School.
After a receiving their medals,they downed bikes for a well-earned rest and a cheque for £275,212 was presented to representatives from the two causes.
First we heard from Judy Coles, headmistress of the Hague School, who thanked the cyclists on behalf of the pupils and their families. She told us all about the school’s commitment to cycling (which we had gathered from the cheering supporters earlier!) and explained how they will put the money towards the renovation of an old schoolkeeper’s house. She finished with a few wise words of cycling advice from letters the children had written to the teams (which we hope to share with you in full soon), and some fairly creative pictures they had drawn of bicycles!
We then heard from Bernie Byrne, Head of Maggie’s London, who described the cyclists’ efforts as ‘absolutely tremendous’ and then told us how it will contribute to the wonderful work Maggie’s does to support people with cancer and their family and friends. Maggie’s is a growing charity and there is sadly a lot of demand for its services. In 2013 20,000 people visited the west London centre alone, and in the next few years they hope to open one at Barts hospital in east London.
Afterwards, we moved on to the awards part of the evening (drum rollplease)…
The winning team trophy went to Team (Not Very) P&C and was collected by captain Barnaby Rugge-Price. RKH chairman Dominic Collins offered him more sponsorship money if he shaved off his beard, but the offer went unanswered. The trophy was presented by Mike Duffy of our generous sponsor Canopius.
Next up came the yellow jersey, awarded to Dave Sharman of Tuffs de France for being the fastest rider of the whole journey. This was presented by Nick Rnjak of Travelers, another major sponsor.
John King of Brit awarded the red polka dot jersey, which went to the Queen of the Mountain, Natasha Whewell of Team Highly Geared. After a disappointing show of our male sportspeople over recent weeks, said John, it was nice to be awarding a prize to a talented female sportsperson.
Next up Ant Brooke of Team (Not Very) P&C was awarded the green jersey for the fastest individual leg. Judy Coles of the Hague School presented it to him.
Bernie Byrne of Maggie's then attempted to present RKH’s Paul Redgate with a bottle of champagne for his fundraising efforts, though when his name was read out Paul was nowhere to be seen. He personally raised the fantastic amount of £60,000!
Tuffs de France then picked up a second award: the prestigious wooden spoon award, presented by RKH’s Dominic Collins. Judging by the response of a knowing bunch of cyclists, it went to a very worthy recipient: Jon Newman.
Finally, Dominic Collins thanked everyone who had been involved in organising the event, with a particular mention to Nancy Johnson, Chloe Miller and Jon Copsey.
A big thank you goes to all of our sponsors and everyone who cheered on the cyclists!