Cyclists take on mammoth challenge

A TEAM of cyclists from Clevedon will battle through the pain barrier to cycle more than 1,000 miles in aid of charity.

The group will ride for more than 100 miles each day, for 10 days, to travel between the Bristol City football ground at Ashton Gate to the Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona.

The idea was thought up by 29-year-old Paul Wilkinson of Meadow Road, who managed to convince seven friends to take part.

They will set off from Ashton Gate on July 22 with the aim of reaching the Nou Camp on August 1 – 1,067 miles later.

During the journey, they will have to endure a five-hour climb over the Pyrenees mountain range between France and Spain, where they could suffer altitude sickness.

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They will camp overnight to keep costs to a minimum and plan to set off at 6am every day.

None of them have taken part in a cycle challenge before and all had to buy specialist road bikes to take part.

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They have been training together since January and have already completed some practice runs, cycling to Bournemouth and back again in one weekend.

The team hopes to raise �10,000, which will be split between Ward 37 at Bristol’s children’s hospital, which cares for severely ill children, and Parkinson’s UK.

Paul said: “We are raising money for two great charities that are personal to the team.

“The training is going pretty well so far.

“The last 50 miles of the Bournemouth route was when we started to realise the enormity of the challenge. It is going to be pretty tough.”

The team is made up of brothers Simon, Ben and James Cridland, Daniel Stewart, Paul Lovell, Luke Mortimore, Ben Burns and Paul Wilkinson, who range in age from 24 to 35.

They will be supported throughout the challenge by Sam Hutchins and George Poole, who will drive the route with them. The group has received sponsorship from a number of Clevedon businesses, including Future Stars Coaching which has given the team a whopping �2,500.

* Anyone wishing to sponsor the cyclists can visit their webpage at

* To raise more money, they have also organised a black tie ball to be held at Walton Castle in Castle Road at 7pm on May 26. The evening will include a hog roast, live band, DJ and raffle. Tickets, priced �25, are available from Paul on 07837 479401.

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