A team of energetic cyclists from Clinton Devon Estates are getting back in the saddle to take part in a major fundraising ride for a leading local cancer charity.
The riders are busy training for this year’s Nello Cycle Challenge on Sunday 26th June which raises vital funds for FORCE (Friends of the Oncology and Radiotherapy Centre, Exeter).
Clinton Devon Estates has been a keen supporter of the charity since 2016 thanks to a series of sponsorship and fundraising initiatives. The Nello Challenge is a particular favourite and staff have chalked up dozens of rides since first saddling up six years ago.
The event was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, but the team still tackled their own rides to raise funds for the charity.
A highlight on the cycling calendar, the Nello features the classic 100 mile ride from Topsham over Exmoor and back, or a shorter 55 mile ride, with a wealth of scenic country roads to enjoy, whichever route riders take.
Gaynor Hayne, who works on the finance team at the Estate, said: “It’s always great fun taking part in this event but as the years go on, it doesn’t get any easier. It’s worth all the hard work though for such a great charity!”
Joining Gaynor once again from the ride 12 months ago are John Wilding (Head of Forestry and Energy), John’s wife Nina Wilding, and Kevin Brosnan (Head Gamekeeper). Also taking part again are friends of the team Heather Herbert, Neil Eriksen and Andy Bush.
Three new recruits, Charlie Briant-Evans (Estate Farm Worker) and Will Dale (Estate Surveyor), Dr Sam Bridgewater (Head of Wildlife and Conservation), complete this year’s line-up.
Such is the popularity of the event, the team could be among a total of 1,500 riders on the day, all hoping to better last year’s £96,000 total. The charity, which supports people in the Exeter area, offers a face-to-face service to help anyone affected by cancer. Since the first event in 2000, the Nello challenge has raised £1.2 million for the cause.
The team has set up an online donation page here, so people can support them in their fundraising efforts.