Cyclists in Wales come out in force to support The Prostate Cancer Charity

Hundreds of cyclists got in the saddle yesterday (Sunday 21 August) for the challenge of a lifetime by completing The Prostate Cancer Charity's Tour Ride in Wales, raising thousands of pounds in doing so. 

More than 300 riders took part in the region's inaugural Tour Ride, experiencing part of the official Tour of Britain route for the first time, ahead of the professionals in September. The ride was backed by a host of celebrities, including Dame Shirley Bassey and pop singer Alexandra Burke.

Riders were bathed in sunshine as they gathered from around the region to take part in the ride. With Welshpool the start point for the tough 180km Pro Ride and the 100km Challenge route beginning in Builth Wells, the cyclists crossed the finish line in the grounds of Caerphilly Castle.

Smooth Radio DJ and ambassador for The Prostate Cancer Charity, Mark Goodier, was one of the people lining up to take on the 100km challenge ride, from Builth Wells to Caerphilly. He said: "It is definitely the hardest ride I have done in my life and I take my hat off to the guys who did the 200km pro ride today. What kept me going was the by the thought of my father-in-law who died from the disease. I really enjoyed the beautiful scenery along the route - I would love to see it again without being completely exhausted. I have now four weeks to recover before I do it all again in Stoke-on-Trent."

Among the riders taking on the 200km pro ride was Andrew Tucker, 32, from Nottingham who completed the course in six hours 25 minutes. He explains: "I found the end of the race very tough. I have taken part in the Charity's ride in Stoke-on-Trent for the past two years so I thought I knew what I was letting myself in for but when I saw Caerphilly mountain looming in the distance, I had never seen anything quite like it! Riding through the Brecon Beacons was absolutely fantastic, I just had to get off my bike to take a few pictures. So far I have raised over £600 for The Prostate Cancer Charity and hope this will continue to grow over the next few days."

Simon Downing, 34, and Jon Parker, 48, from car repair company, Bodyshop Express, crossed the line together after completing the 100km challenge ride. Reflecting on the ride, Simon said: "I lost my father-in-law to prostate cancer five years ago and wanted to do something to remember him. It was a fantastic route and I really enjoyed cycling through the Brecon Beacons."

Jon added: "Together we have raised over £2,000 for The Prostate Cancer Charity and I hope this figure will continue to rise over the next few days when people see the pictures of the mountains we tackled along the way."

Today's ride was the second of this summer's Tour Rides after a successful event was staged in East Anglia last month.

Speaking from the finish line in Caerphilly, Katie Robbins, Tour of Britain Project Manager at The Prostate Cancer Charity, said: "It's fantastic to see so many people taking to their bikes to raise funds for such an important cause. It's been exciting to bring a Tour Ride to Wales for the first time and the local people have really embraced the event with enthusiasm. 

"A huge thank you to all the riders that took part today and their friends and family that came down to cheer them on. Please keep your sponsorship money coming in - it's not too late to show the Charity your support and there are great incentives available!"

Following yesterday's event, there are three further Tour Rides across the country this year, taking place in Scotland, London and Stoke-on-Trent, to raise funds to help the Charity fight the most common cancer in men in the UK.

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