Nigel Walker and Stephen Henstock of Telecommunications Company Ardendom were two of 12 cyclists who arrived in Brive in the south of France in April having ridden 580 miles from Pontypridd, raising £30,000 for Mencap Cymru (Mencap in Wales) in the process. Dubbed the battle 2 Brive, the ride marked the 15th anniversary of an infamous 30-man brawl during a European cup match between the town’s two rugby sides, known as the original battle of Brive.
Gordon Matthews of Warwickshire based Trent Management Consultants joined Nigel and Stephen on the quest that left them all a few pounds lighter and a lot fitter.
Nigel Walker, MD of Pall Mall and Coventry based Ardencom says, ‘Without the support of our sponsors, all the chaffing and saddle sores, the long winding hills and the peddling headlong into wind would have been worthless; it is the only thing that kept us all cycling onwards. Raising such a lot of money for Mencap was worth every ache and pain and all the hours of training we put in beforehand.’
Nine other riders took part and included former Wales and Scarlets forward Alix Popham, who has close links with Brive, finishing his playing career as captain there. Other well-known faces included Paralympic cycling gold medallist Mark Colbourne and TV presenter Iolo Williams, who completed the first leg.
The charity’s services provide support so that people with a learning disability can live as independently as they want, helping them to train for and find employment.
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