York2Pompey riders arrive at Fratton Park in triumph

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FOUR days, 300 miles and 32 exhausted riders later, they did it!

The York2Pompey cyclists rode home to a huge cheers and tears of joy at Fratton Park on Saturday afternoon.

York 2 Pompey cyclists return to Frogmore Road. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (150499-6)

York 2 Pompey cyclists return to Frogmore Road. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (150499-6)

The group of Pompey fans cycled all the way from York to make the last game of the season for the two teams – and raised more than £30,000 for local good causes along the way.

Organiser Tom Dearie set off on Wednesday three days after completing the London Marathon.

The 42-year-old said: ‘I’m absolutely exhausted but it feels brilliant at the same time.

‘To come home to this and to see what the teach have achieved, it’s fantastic.’

A huge crowd of well-wishers greeted the team as they made their way to Frogmore Road after a quick pit-stop at The George Inn on Portsdown Hill.

And there tears from Sam Hardcastle’s family and friends as she hugged her mum and three children hello.

Sam, 40, of Beach Road, Southsea, completed the ride with husband Neil.

She said: ‘I’m just overwhelmed by the sense of community. I’ve never experienced anything like it before.

‘It was hard but it makes it all worth it to see the city come together.

‘The children are exceptionally proud of us and it was a very emotional reunion.’

It is the second year the York2Pompey ride has taken place.

This time round seven charities will benefit.

They are the Elizabeth Foundation, Harbour Cancer Support, Jack’s first Steps, Sam’s Haven, Kitbags and Berets, Pompey in the Community, Pompey Supporters’ Trust and a charity of York FC’s choice.

Paul Merrick who founded Sam’s Haven with wife Louise, was at the finish line with his son Sam to greet the riders.

Mr Merrick, from Denmead, said: ‘I think they are all totally mad but totally brilliant.

‘We are over the moon they’ve completed it and they chose to help us.

‘They did it at no benefit to themselves. It was all entirely selfless and we appreciate it so much.’

It is not too late to donate. To help them reach their £32,000 target go to justgiving.com/teams/York2PompeyTeam.

To find out more about the ride go to bigpompeyride.co.uk.

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