The finishing line is within sight for a group of intrepid Exeter Chiefs supporters who have braved – at times – horrendous weather conditions in aid of the club’s official charity, the Exeter Foundation.
Just one final leg remains for the 22 riders on the 485-mile route of the Exeter Rugby European Cycle Challenge, which has seen them pedal their way from Sandy Park to the finish at the Stade Chaban Dalmas in time to watch Saturday’s European Champions Cup clash between the Chiefs and French rivals Bordeaux-Begles.
Having departed Devon in the sunshine early last Sunday morning, the riders have undergone some miserable weather during their route down through France towards their final stop-off point in Bordeaux.
However, their spirits have failed to be dampened and urged on by a plethora of supporters along the way, including Exeter Rugby Club chairman and chief executive Tony Rowe OBE, their epic quest is almost done.
Not that the group’s fundraising efforts are far from finished. Set an initial target of £20,000 for the Foundation, that figure looks set to be exceeded thanks to a wealth of support from all corners.
Remarking on the trip so far, Mr Rowe said: “It’s been tough for the riders, especially given some of the conditions they’ve had to endure along the way. That said, we’re not too far away now and we’re on course to arrive in Bordeaux by 5pm (CET) on Friday.
“Funds have been steadily coming in over the week, but we would love for more people to get behind the guys and support them over this final push. We set ourselves an initial target of £20,000, but now we’re looking more at £25,000 or above.
“I’d urge anyone who hasn’t yet donated to the challenge to do so now, not just to show the support for all the riders and the support crew, but also for the many charities that the Exeter Foundation helps.”
To donate to the Exeter European Cycle Challenge, visit the Just Giving Page – http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charity-web/charity/displayEventDetails.action?eventId=23181&charityId=1005330&invocation=don0060