Cahors Challenge 2022

Two teams of 4 cyclists from Alsford embarked on a 566-mile route over 3 days through the French countryside.  The event was organized by Challenge Adventure Charities, as a fundraiser for Cancer Research, The British Heart Foundation, and NHS Charities Together.  Teams could also elect their own charity to which 50% of all money raised would go.  Our teams chose Momentum Children’s Charity, as this was a local charity to some of our branches, and known to one of our team members.

The Alsford Wheelers and the Alsford Peddlers took on steep ascents and rolling descents, with one person from each team forming pairs to take on the dramatic landscape in relay sprints. The team raised over £7,000, and 100% of monies raised was donated to charity. Find out more here:

Challenge Adventure Charities was formed in 1996 and holds bi-annual cycling events in summer and autumn with the goal of raising as much money as possible for charities chosen by event participants and trustees. To date Challenge Adventure Charities have raised around £4.45 million through events.

Neil Fuller, Managing Director at Alsford said he wanted to “provide a team building exercise for staff members” and they were joined by 2 enthusiastic customers who accompanied them throughout the route and helped them to complete their journey.  Sam Phillips, Branch Manager at Twickenham, came in as a last-minute addition to the teams after an absence and completed his legs of the route without much time to prepare. “I made myself available for back-up so the event could definitely go ahead – It’s a really good cause”. 

Day 1 of the cycle started with gradual inclines and fairly level roads, turning quickly into steep ascents up winding roads by midday and really pushing the riders to their limit right from the beginning. The weather didn’t help, with lots of rain throughout the day.

Ollie Hampton, Joinery Lead, spoke about his low points on the trip and how thoughts of friends and family kept him motivated throughout the event, “The hills are tough. The thought of letting my family, charity and teammates down got me to the top. Oh and Tim’s inspiring talks!” he confirmed.

Tim Osborne, Commercial Manager, reiterated that taking on the hills for long stretches of time was really the hardest point of this entire trip, “Cycling a steep hill feeling the pain with Neil, when he highlighted why we were doing this and who we were raising money for” Tim said was what got him through his lowest points.

Day 2 of the cycle, the riders started much like day 1 with moderate inclines and generally level terrain, reaching peaks by mid-afternoon. 

Sam notes that the best part of the ride was the “Fourth shift of the second day – mostly downhill!”

All of the Alsford riders spoke about the beauty of Rocamadour in Southwestern France, set in a gorge above a tributary of the River Dordogne, as being the best scenery on the trip. By mile 123 on day 3 of their trip, the riders were travelling in and around Rocamadour, taking in the stunning views of the ancient city built into the hill.

Poor weather made the hills on Day 3 particularly tough, however the finish line was in sight! Stuart Davis, Assistant Branch Manager at Eastbourne said “The last 15 miles riding in as a large group, working in peloton to get to the end line together gave us a great sense of achievement and belonging”.

When asked what the best part of the trip overall was, all the Alsford riders agreed that the feeling of collective team spirit and the camaraderie that was felt throughout the entire trip made all the burning leg muscles and early morning starts worthwhile. At the back of everyone’s mind was the meaningful cause that they were working to benefit and that together, with the support of friends, family, and colleagues they were able to make a difference by undertaking this physical feat.