FORTY cyclists have set off on a 305-mile ride from Poland to Prague to raise funds for Sunderland AFC’s charitable arm.
The Foundation of Light Cycle Challenge riders flew from Newcastle to the Polish city of Wroclaw on Sunday and started their ride first thing Monday morning, finishing in the Czech border town of Jesenik.
The group has three more days of cycling ahead, finishing in the Czech capital Prague on Thursday evening.
Last year’s ride – across France from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean – raised more than £75,000 for the Foundation, which is involved with 40,000 people across the North East each year and uses the power of football to improve lives.
“It was a relatively easy start to day one, but got a bit harder with a few hills after lunch when the temperature was rising and the rain threatening,” said Sunderland hero Marco Gabbiadini, who is one of the cyclists.
“Spirits are high – and the beer is really cheap – but we have a difficult day tomorrow. The cycle challenge has really grown over the last six years and has become one of biggest fundraising events in the Foundation’s calendar.
“There’s a massive sense of achievement, made all the better from taking part as a team.”
Richard Hopper, Head of Commercial at Foundation of Light, said: “It’s been a great start to this year’s challenge and I’d like to thank the riders, their many individual sponsors and our fantastic corporate sponsors for once again backing us so generously. Everything raised by this week’s riders will make such a real difference to so many people’s lives.”
Previous Cycle Challenges have seen riders cycle from Dublin to Sunderland and across Italy, raising more than £200,000 to help fund Foundation of Light’s community projects across the North East.
The event is sponsored by Grafton Group plc, BidFood, Dunelm Glass and supported by logistics experts OSE.
You can support the ride through donations to Marco’s JustGiving page at justgiving.com/MarcoGabbiadini10 and on social media site Twitter using the hashtag #TeamFoundation.
13 June 2017