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Trust Support For Race Across Europe

Published: 03 Sep 2015


A team of intrepid cyclists from RAF Cosford is being supported by the RAF Charitable Trust on the ultimate cycling challenge, the Race Across Europe (RACE).

Taking the motto of the RAF School of Physical Training as their name, Team Viribus Audax  - it means 'Bold In Strength' - has set off on the RACE, cycling non-stop from Calais to Gibraltar. 

The four team members - cyclists Nick Hitchman (Reserve PTI), Phil Morris (PTI and Adventure Training Instructor), Ronan Archbold (RAF Veteran PTI  and Rehab Therapist) and Sue Pugh (PTI and Rehab Therapist) - are taking it in turn to pedal day and night to cover the 2,926-mile course.

The Charitable Trust's £2,000 grant has gone towards ensuring that support costs are met, and the bikers have the best back-up in their seven-strong support team of Rik Cannon, Steve Whitear, Gareth Bufton, Peter Beauchamp, Sean Evans, Dale Watkins and Emma Hopkinson.

Prior to the start the team members had been notching up the miles, for training and to raise awareness of their challenge, both on the road, in competition (they tackled the Snowdonia Ultra Duathlon as a training exercise) and at fund-raising events - the foursome 'pedalled' over 600 static miles at the local Asda to help spread the word.

Training Supervisor Steve Whitear said: "The route takes us from Calais east across France, into Germany's Black Forest, across the Austrian Alps, dipping our pedals into Italy, turning left into Slovenia, scaling the Vrsic Pass, speeding across flat northern Italy then conquering Mont Ventoux, soaking up the South of France's sunshine, across the Pyrenees and relishing Spain's fantastic roads to finish at Europa Point in Gibraltar with amazing views across to north Africa. Our intention is to complete this nonstop within 10 days."

At the time of writing (September 2), Team Viribus Audax had hit the front and were looking forward to good weather in Northern Italy, en route to France and the challenge of Mont Ventoux.

As if covering the distance wasn't enough, the team is also using the event to help raise awareness for Scotty's Little Soldiers, a charity that supports the children of service personnel killed while serving in the British Armed Forces.

Follow the progress of Team Viribus Audax via the website

CAPTION: hard at work on the Turbo Trainers - the team pedalled for nine hours at Asda at Donnington Wood in Telford to promote their effort. 

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