Places up for grabs on French charity cycle ride

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HUNDREDS of cyclists are expected to sign up for a six-day charity ride across northern France.

The Annual Hayling to Paris Cycle Ride will, as has been the case for several years, bypass Paris altogether, taking in the scenery of the Le Mans region instead.

Now in its 26th year, the cycle ride, organised by Paul Fisher, is open for bookings and practice cycles start next month.

The ride starts in St Malo, taking in Rennes, Laval, Le Mans, Argentan and finally Caen.

The last leg will be done in fancy dress ready for the gala party.

Mr Fisher said: ‘It is a long-established, brilliant event which people keep coming back to year after year.

‘The new routes have shorter and longer options, alongside beautiful rivers and forests.

‘And it’s very well organised. We have around eight or nine support vehicles.

‘I believe we are one of the only rides where you can raise money for the charity of your choice. Every penny of it goes direct to the charity.

‘We’ve raised £1.25m over the past 25 years and we’re very proud of that.’

Cyclists have to be 14 and over but there is no upper age limit.

On average the rides are 55 miles each day.

Practice rides start next month which most riders take part in to build up their stamina.

The charity even has its own band, The Kings of Le Mans, who will play on a social evening which has been arranged in the historic town.

The date for this year’s event is June 10 to 16.

It costs £450 and includes a cabin on the ferry, hotel accommodation and breakfast throughout and the gala dinner on the last night.

For more information go to hayling-cycle-ride.org.uk or call (023) 9246 1412.