With the pain and exhaustion of the Tour de France still fresh in his mind, Olympic gold medallist Geraint Thomas MBE was back in the saddle on Saturday 30 July for a gruelling 170 mile charity cycle ride with his girlfriend Sara. Geraint swapped his mountain bike for a tandem with Sara pedalling from the back saddle and the couple raised over Â£5,000 for Alzheimerâ€™s Research UK and The Stroke Association as they cycled through the Welsh countryside.
Geraint and Sara made an early start to complete the long journey in one day, setting off from Cardiff, heading north via Corwen and finishing at the cricket club in Denbigh. The ride was a tribute to Saraâ€™s granddad (taid), William Glyn Thomas, who died earlier this year.
Geraint, 25, from Cardiff talked about the challenge and the motivation for supporting Alzheimerâ€™s Research UK and The Stroke Association:
â€œIt was a brilliant day! Lots of people joined us for the ride and encouraged us along the way. The tandem took a bit of getting used to but it was fun once we mastered it. It was a huge distance to cover in one day but it was great to cycle with such a focus â€“ to raise desperately needed money for the pioneering research being carried out by Alzheimerâ€™s Research UK and The Stroke Association.”
â€œWe wanted to do something positive to help these charities as Saraâ€™s taid suffered a series of mini strokes which then lead to dementia. We made the Denbigh Cricket Club our destination for the ride because he was a long serving member and chairman of the Club and loved the game.â€
Sara, 20, from Bonvilston in the Vale of Glamorgan, added:
â€œMy taid would be so proud to know we cycled all that way as a tribute to him and to raise money for Alzheimerâ€™s Research UK and The Stroke Association. He was a true gentleman and was loved enormously. It’s hard to express how cruel these illnesses are and the impact they have on the whole family. Â
â€œTaking on this ride was our way of helping to raise awareness and raise urgently needed money for these two charities. Family and friends joined us for the ride and it was really exhilarating. The only obstacle for me was the hard saddle â€“ I thought my legs would ache but hadnâ€™t factored in a sore bottom!Â But it was all worth it and the amount weâ€™ve raised far exceeds our expectations â€“ we are so grateful for everyoneâ€™s generosity and support.â€Â
Miranda Mays, Community Fundraising Manager for Alzheimerâ€™s Research UK, said:
â€œThis is an amazing result and we canâ€™t thank Geraint and Sara enough for taking on this exciting but strenuous bike ride to help defeat dementia. Every Â£20 raised for us will pay for another vital hour of research, bringing us closer to finding ways to diagnose, prevent, treat and cure Alzheimerâ€™s and other forms of dementia.
â€œOver 36,000 people in Wales are living with dementia today but funding lags far behind that of other serious diseases. We rely entirely on our wonderful supporters like Geraint and Sara to fund our world-class research.â€
Â To add to Geraint and Saraâ€™s fundraising efforts for pioneering research donate online atÂ http://www.justgiving.com/teams/Taid.
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