Elite cyclists to pass through Heathfield en route to Paris

Last year's team arriving in Paris
Last year's team arriving in Paris

A group of elite cyclists will set out from Blackheath this week as part of an epic 24-hour London to Paris bike ride to coincide with the finale of the Tour de France and help raise around £450,000 for children’s charity Action Medical Research.

Riders will taking off on Friday, July 24 and will pass through south London, including Bromley and West Wickham, before heading to Crowborough and Heathfield in East Sussex then via Polegate and Seaford towards Newhaven to catch the ferry to Dieppe - and hopefully a few hours’ sleep.

The challenging, non-stop 235-mile route finishes in Paris on Saturday, 25 July, with the cyclists riding in convoy down the Champs Élysées to the Eiffel Tower the day before the iconic Tour de France race finishes along the same streets.

Among those taking part is Jeremy Bacon, CEO of The Sherwood Group, who was inspired to challenge himself further after raising £4,697 when he completed the children’s charity’s regular London to Paris ride in 2014. The Nottingham-based company also printed Action Medical Research’s range of Christmas cards for free last year, raising a further £13,457.

Jeremy, who is well on his way to reaching this year’s target of £1,200, said, “I did the London to Paris ride last year in four days in great company - it is a really well organised event. This year I wanted to do it again, but I wanted to do it better so that’s why the 24-hour route really appealed to me: it’s the chance to do it better and quicker.”

Action Medical Research is currently supporting work around meningitis, Down syndrome, epilepsy and premature birth, as well as some rare and distressing conditions that severely affect children.

Among the research the charity is currently funding is a study by Professor Somnath Mukhopadhyay, of Brighton’s Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital. Professor Mukhopadhyay has uncovered evidence that a commonly used asthma medicine, called salmeterol, may offer little benefit to some of the children who are taking it.

Action Medical Research is a leading UK-wide charity working to save and change children’s lives through medical research. They have been funding medical breakthroughs since 1952 like the first polio vaccines in the UK, ultrasound in pregnancy and the rubella vaccine.

Entries are open for Action Medical Research’s 2016 ride which will take place from 20 July to 24 July. Visit action.org.uk/action-london-paris