Former Players take on Ultimate UK Cycle Challenge
4 July 2014 09:59
By Helen Chu
A group of Gloucester Rugby Former Players and friends have come together to take on the Ultimate UK Cycle Challenge, The Ride Across Britain. They are raising funds for the Pied Piper Appeal and the Gloucester Rugby Community Foundation.
The Ride Across Britain is the UK's premier long distance cycling challenge. The route runs from the farthest tip of Cornwall at Land's End to the very Northernmost tip of the UK at John O'Groats. The challenge is to ride 969 miles in 9 days averaging 108 miles a day!
The Gloucester Rugby team is being led by former club captain Pete Glanville, who said, '"In the short time since Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome's Tour de France wins cycling has been rejuvenated and more of us are on our bikes for heath and enjoyment as well a great way to raise monies for good causes.'
'We have a fantastic group of 20 riders comprising ex-rugby players and friends! Training started in January and for most of us represents the biggest endurance challenge we have undertaken. It is an epic ride from one end of our country to the other, literally!
'Already we have formed some great friendship bonds during our training programme with quite a few of us doing the recent Pied Piper Sportive around Gloucestershire as part of our preparation for LEJOG. It's a tough challenge that we hope will be marked by great support from everyone in the community in helping us to achieve our fundraising targets of £50,000."
The Pied Piper is established to improve the lives of sick children in Gloucestershire. Initially created to fund a new children's hospital for the county, the Appeal now reaches out to help sick children from across Gloucestershire in many different ways and the Gloucester Rugby Community Foundation aim to succeed in making a difference to the lives of young people by inspiring and motivating them to enjoy a physically active and healthy lifestyle.
Gloucester have been in good form in recent weeks, but Backs Coach Tim Taylor knows that the Cherry and Whites will have to be at their best on Thursday evening (kick off 7:45pm) against a Stade Rochelais side flying high this season.
Speaking to GRTV after the bonus point win over Bristol, back row Lewis Ludlow revealed that despite a tricky first half, Gloucester backed their skills to come through, a faith that was evident in a strong second half showing.
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
After taking 11 points from their last three games in the Aviva Premiership, including bonus point wins against Wasps and Bristol, Gloucester will be looking to continue their good form when they welcome La Rochelle to Kingsholm.
Having named an unchanged starting XV for the past three Aviva Premiership games, Gloucester Rugby ring the changes and retain only five players for Thursday's visit of Stade Rochelais in the European Rugby Challenge Cup (kick off 7:45pm).