Rapha Condor Sharp riders put the south west stage of The Tour of Britain to the test on Sunday, joining 2,000 amateur cyclists in The Prostate Cancer Charity Tour Ride.
Zak Dempster, Dan Craven, Ben Greenwood, Jonathon Tiernan Locke and Darren Lapthorne took on one of the toughest stages of The Tour of Britain from Minehead in Somerset to Teignmouth in Devon.
The Rapha Condor Sharp Team set the pace for the cyclists who had opted to measure themselves against the pros and take on the full 175km route.
Darren Lapthorne, who will ride the Tour of Britain for his team, said of the event, “It was a great day out for us and nice to see the course we'll ride next week. Seeing so many people out there enjoying themselves and taking on the challenge of such a tough stage was really inspiring, well done to all the people who took on the challenge at the weekend."
Double Olympic gold medallist Daley Thompson and Smooth Radio DJ Mark Goodier also joined the charity ride, opting for the shorter 70km Challenge Ride.
The pair led hundreds of cyclists who had responded to the charity’s call to ‘Unite ByCycling’ and raise awareness of the disease, the most common cancer in men in the UK.
Goodier, who is a keen supporter of the charity as his family has been touched by the disease, distinguished himself with a very respectable 2.30 finish time.
He said, “I thought it was an amazing experience. There was a real community spirit at the start, which was very welcome given the challenge that was facing us. It was definitely the most difficult terrain I have ever experienced - and I am just glad to have survived! I was very happy with my two and a half hours.
“This is a very important cause to me for personal reasons as my father-in-law, Bill, died from the disease. He was a great man. We need as many men as possible to increase their awareness of prostate cancer, and take control of their health by talking to their doctor about a PSA* test.”
Daley Thompson also made swift work of the Tour Ride. He said, “I did The Prostate Cancer Charity Tour Ride in London last year, but this event was on a whole new level. As a decathlete I have mastered many sports. It was good to challenge myself with something different. There was one hill in particular that caught out most of the cyclists. It was a pretty tough ride, but it was for a worthwhile cause.
“I am keen to support the Charity as their work raises awareness of the disease throughout the country and one little known fact is that African Caribbean men are three times more likely to develop the disease than the rest of the population. I would recommend these events to anybody but you will have to train a little.”
All of the riders were greeted by cheering crowds at the finish line in Teignmouth, which had earlier played host to the charity’s Family Ride, where people of all ages and abilities were invited to get on their bikes and enjoy a gentle 2km ride.
The sportive was one of three events the Charity is staging across the UK, this September, as part of its ‘Unite ByCycling initiative’, which aims to raise awareness of prostate cancer, the most common cancer in men in the UK, as well as to raise funds to fight the disease. As well as the South West, people will be able to take to two wheels in Stoke-on-Trent on London on Saturday 18 September and Sunday 26 September.
To find out more visit www.tourride.co.uk.
*A PSA test is a blood test commonly used to detect a problem with the prostate.