BIKE BLOG: Ambassador’s send-off for the riders

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RIDERS from Sunderland are on an epic trek home from Dublin in support of the SAFC Foundation of Light. Philip Vasey gives an update on their progress

From an embassy to exhaustion and everything in between, the last 24 hours of the Dublin to Sunderland Cycling Challenge have proven to be a mix of fantastic opportunities and immense challenges.

Cycling in aid of the SAFC Foundation of Light, this event involves cycling 400 miles from Dublin to Sunderland to raise money for the local charity.

Having last night had the privilege of being chosen as guests of honour at the UK Embassy in Dublin, a night of networking ensued, with riders being treated to a celebratory meal in the Ambassador’s Residence – what a welcome!

Morning soon caught up with last night’s excesses, and groggy participants donned their Lycra and began the challenge of a lifetime. Soon, differences in experience showed, with Susan Hall from Reds leading the pack of riders through lush Irish countryside.

Andy Gribble, part of the Management Team for main ride sponsors Grafton, gave the group a stunning revelation. ‘This is the first time time I’ve been on this bike’, Andy explained, and proceeded to attack each Irish hill with gusto. Despite a definite lack of any sensible training, mechanics soon showed Andy the ropes, and mile after mile of green pastures whizzed by, with the Mountains of Mourne looming ever closer on the horizon.

Whether Andy’s lack of training will take its toll over the coming miles remains to be seen, but it’s certainly clear who will be winning tonight’s yellow jersey!

For more information about this unique challenge, visit the official website at

>>>Click here to read yesterday’s blog