Arkriders gear up for Twin Towns Tour challenge

Cycling nearly 500 miles through five countries in five days is a massive challenge – but that’s exactly what 28 fabulous fundraisers are going to do as they write the next chapter of the amazing Arkriders story.

The Arkriders have been at the heart of the community campaign to raise £5million for a new NHS cancer treatment centre in Basingstoke – and now the 2019 peleton are gearing up for the Arkriders Twin Towns Tour which will take place from July 17-22.

Ark Cancer Centre Charity has raised more than £2m as it continues its appeal to help fund the new centre which will provide care and support for cancer patients and their loved ones throughout the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) area.

In the last three years, the Arkriders – a group of cycling fundraisers whose collective number totals more than 50 riders – have piled on the pedal power from John O’Groats to Land’s End, London to Brighton, Basingstoke to Paris, and Basingstoke to Bournemouth and back, as well as organising a fundraising charity dinner. So far, they have raised more than £215,000.

On the 2017 Ark to Arc ride, the Arkriders passed through Basingstoke’s twin town Alencon on the way to Paris. The 2019 challenge will see the cyclists visit Basingstoke’s other twin towns of Braine L’Alleud, in Belgium, and Euskirchen, in Germany.

At a party at The Tea Bar, in Basingstoke, which saw the presentation of the Arkriders shirts, many of the 2019 Arkriders were joined by representatives from event headline gold sponsor MiniTec and silver sponsors Display Manager, LMW, Rotary Basingstoke Deane, Sixth Sense Business, Unum, Apollo Hotel, and Loft Plan.

Merv Rees, the leading liver cancer surgeon and Ark Cancer Centre Charity trustee, who is a driving force behind the cancer treatment centre project, thanked the Arkriders for everything they have done and are doing.

“You are a real inspiration,” Merv told the Arkriders. “Raising more than £215,000 so far for Ark is a truly awesome achievement. I, and everyone involved with Ark and the cancer treatment centre, cannot thank you enough, and we wish you good luck and every success for the Arkriders Twin Towns Tour, which is a formidable challenge.”

The 2019 Arkriders cyclists are aiming to raise £20,000 for Ark through the Arkriders Twin Towns Tour, and they have already clocked up more than £12,100.

The fundraising coffers have been boosted by more than £10,000 thanks to the generous support of the event sponsors, and Thursday’s party raised nearly £300 more as the proceeds of a raffle were added to the running total.   

If anyone wants to support the Arkriders, individually or collectively, they can make a donation by going to https://www.justgiving.com/companyteams/twintowns19

The riders taking part in the Arkriders 2019 Twin Towns Tour will be supported by experienced cyclists from the Morvélo Basso road racing team, and Mallorca Cycling and The Road Shepherds, who specialise in cycling events and holidays.