29th August 2013
After almost a year in the planning the Pedal de Alps project came to a highly successful ending on the sea front in Nice yesterday afternoon as the five strong team led by Paul Dixon arrived on the Promenade de Anglais to rapturous applause having raised over twenty thousand pounds and rising for Derian House thanks to their epic adventure. Since leaving Derian House in Chorley two weeks ago the team has covered over one thousand miles and climbed over thirty-five thousand metres for this personal and worthy cause.
Paul Dixon and his family became acquainted with Derain House - a specialist children's hospice for terminally ill youngsters during the short life of their son Harry who lost his battle with SMA Type 1 in June 2006, aged just fourteen weeks. (SMA is short for Spinal Muscular Atrophy and is a genetic disorder, affecting the motor neurons in the spinal cord)
The thirteen day trip proved to be a journey of a lifetime with team leader Dixon heading up a supporting cast of twelve times FIM Trial World Champion Dougie Lampkin, his cousin James Lampkin, Hope stalwart Woody Hole and Dougie's manager Jake Miller. The five friends were joined by a series of guest riders along the way with World downhill mountain bike champion Steve Peat being the first on the opening day.
After the initial one hundred and twenty five mile leg from Chorley to Hull, the guys made the overnight ferry crossing to Belgium before they endured three tough and difficult days in the saddle with rain and strong headwinds hampering their progress through the flat lands of Northern France. The sight of Lake Geneva high from the hills above on day six certainly lifted spirits in the squad as they then headed to the French mountains for some serious climbing.
Over the next five days the Pedal de Alps team successfully negotiated most of the major and famous climbs in the Alps, many of which have featured in the Tour de France. These included Col de la Colombiere, Cormet de Roselend, Col del L'Iseran, Col du Telegraphe, Col du Galibier and the highest of them all La Bonnette at 2802 metres. Irrespective of the terrain the team worked as a solid unit with one goal, which was to get all five riders safely to Nice whilst continuing to raise money for Derian House.
The closing couple of days and less frantic schedule allowed the team to fully enjoy the overall experience they had been part of and to reflect on their incredible feat of pedalling from Chorley to Nice via some of the biggest hills in Europe. The last few miles to the sea front in Nice where the forty strong welcoming party awaited them, including triple FIM Trial World Champion Thierry Michaud, proved to be an emotional climax to a hugely successful adventure.
Special thanks to goes to Hope for their immense support of this project from start to finish, to team technician Nick Owen, to JD Cycles, Torq Fitness and Biketreks for their kind assistance, to Red Bull and P+O Ferries for their contribution, to the respective families for their patience and understanding, to all friends, acquaintances and all those who have donated to this incredibly worthy cause.
In the end, the Pedal de Alps story was a simple one - five guys - one thousand miles - one cause.
At the time of writing, the total raised is now in excess of twenty one thousand pounds, and continues to rise.
Click here to view images    
Images by kind permission of Sam Needham.
Donations can be made by visiting www.justgiving.com/pedaldealps or by sending cheques payable to Derian House to Pedal de Alps HQ, 3 The Old Court House, Tenterden Street, Bury, UK - BL9 0AL
For further information please call + 44 (0) 161 763 6660 or email email@example.com
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