The seven riders of the NFU cycling team braved torrential rain and strong winds to complete a gruelling 86 mile ride through London and the Surrey countryside.
Martin Haworth, NFU Deputy Director General, Gemma Fitzpatrick, John Mercer, Tom Sales, Paul Bradley, Richard Wordsworth and John Haselden pushed off from the Queen Elizabeth Olympics Stadium in Stratford, east London, on Sunday with thousands of other cyclists in the Prudential RideLondon challenge.
The event, described by organisers as “a world-class annual two-day cycling festival”, saw 24,000 amateur cyclists cycle through London and Surrey along the 2012 Olympics cycling route.
Despite appalling conditions including torrential rain and gales, Martin, Richard and John Hazelden rode together and finished the 86 mile course in a very respectable time of 4 hours, 28 minutes and 31 seconds. John Mercer finished in 6 hours, 28 minutes and 34 seconds, Gemma finished in 6 hours, 21 minutes and 10 seconds, Tom finished in 4 hours, 41 minutes and 48 seconds, and Paul in 5 hours, 5 minutes and 12 seconds.
The NFU cycling team are the latest in a long line of NFU staff to have taken on a demanding challenge to raise money for Farm Africa. Former NFU President Peter Kendall recently cycled 1,000 miles for the charity and others have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, run the London Marathon and even formed a cricket team for a fundraising tournament in Cambridge.
This year’s Ride London team has so far raised a whopping £3,780 including Gift Aid for Farm Africa.