Portishead Cycling Club raises £3k for Trussell Trust in 24-hour Zwift challenge

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 April 2020

Riders took on the 24 Alp de Zwift Challenge over the Easter weekend.Picture: Peter Wyatt

Riders took on the 24 Alp de Zwift Challenge over the Easter weekend.Picture: Peter Wyatt

Peter Wyatt

A Portishead club has raised £3,000 for charity through an indoor cycle ride, climbing the equivalent of Mount Everest almost 10 times.

A team of eight pro and ex-pro riders, as well as cycling presenters, joined Portishead Cycling Club to raise money for charity Trussell Trust during the group’s 24-hour challenge.

Confined by lockdown restrictions, the cyclists used the Zwift programme to take part in the 24 Alp du Zwift Challenge.

From their garages, gardens and spare rooms, 36 club members tackled the ascent of mountain Alpe d’Huez, one of the most famous and feared climbs in the Tour de France race.

The 24-hour event ran from noon on Easter Saturday until noon on Easter Sunday and cyclists paid to ride at chosen times during the challenge.

Club ex-pro rider Simon Gaywood recruited Australian UCI WorldTeam EF Pro Cycling rider Lachlan Morton, Tour of Antalya 2020 winner Max Steadman, Commonwealth Games medallist James McCallum and British road racing champion Russ Downing, who all raised money for the trust.

Russ’s brother, British national circuit champion Dean Downing, ex-Endura Racing team rider Chris Pritchard, national track champion Jon Mould and Eurosport presenter and cycling journalist Rebecca Charlton also took part in the challenge.

Almost 40 Portishead CC members and friends took part, with many doing two or three separate climbs of the mountain, with a handful of riders managing four enduring ascents.

The riders covered 1,600 miles between them and climbed more than 270,000ft – the same as almost climbing 10 Everests.

The event was in aid of Trussell Trust, which oversees food banks in North Somerset and Bristol.

The club says its initial goal was to raise ‘a few hundred pounds’, but the team managed to raise £3,000 for charity.

Portishead CC founder, Rob Ellis, said: ”We had a great response and want to thank everyone who took part.

“Special thanks goes to my club colleagues Steve Marsh, Peter Wyatt and Simon Gaywood who put the entire challenge together in less than six days.”

To donate money to the cause, visit www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=M2X44S77BNTV8&source=url

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