Deloitte trio in marathon charity cycle challenge

Three cyclists from Deloitte in Birmingham are taking on a marathon cycling challenge  from John O’Groats to Land’s End as part of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain.

Ashley Hollinshead, a partner in the firm’s tax team, is taking on the epic 950-mile journey with colleagues Lindsay Buckenham and Ant Thomas.

The trio joined dozens of other riders from Deloitte’s offices across the UK to cycle the length of Britain to raise money for ParalympicsGB. Deloitte is aiming to raise £1 million over four years to support all Great Britain’s future Paralympians for London 2012 and beyond.

Last year, 600 riders took part in the challenge, with more than 94 per cent crossing the finish line. Over £350,000 was raised for ParalympicsGB during the event.

This year, around 500 riders set off from John O’Groats on Saturday 11 June 2011 and will finish in Land’s End on Sunday 19 June.

Ashley said: “Training was pretty tough as I have never been a big sports enthusiast, but hopefully the preparation, including early morning cycling sessions in the winter and a few lessons in the importance of sports nutrition, has set me up for the ride.

“Although we know it is going to be extremely tough, we are doing it to raise money for an extremely worthy cause and to support the preparation of the Paralympic athletes who will make us proud next summer and inspire more people to take up disability sport.”

This year, Deloitte has introduced daily stages along the route to allow those who can’t complete the full distance to take part in the challenge. The daily stage riders will pedal the same 110 mile/day route as those cycling the length of the country.

There are nine daily stages along the route, with the Midlands’ leg starting in Ludlow, in Shropshire, on Friday 17 June and finishing in Bath, Somerset.

As well as the daily stage riders, a number of professional para-cyclists from the GB Cycling Team are taking part in the Deloitte Ride Across Britain this year, including multiple World and Paralympic Champions Sarah Storey, Barney Storey, Darren Kenny, Jody Cundy and David Stone, plus London 2012 hopefuls Shaun McKeown, Jon-Allan Butterworth, Tel Byrne and Helen Scott.

The Deloitte RAB challenge was originally devised and staged by James Cracknell and his co-founders at Threshold Sports in 2010.  Julian Mack, one of the co-founding directors of Threshold Sports, said: “Here at Threshold we are delighted that we can be joined on Deloitte RAB by some of Britain’s best para-cyclists.  For them to use Deloitte RAB as part of their London 2012 training is an honour and a great chance for the public to ride with the Great Britain para-cycling team.”

Picture caption: Ant Thomas (left) and Lindsay Buckenham (right) get in some last minute training before the  ride with Deloitte Midlands practice senior partner Chris Loughran.


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