Pedal power

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SHINE’s first ever cycling team powered their way to sixth place in the pro-am Trois Etapes race – pedalling up and down French mountains, achieving podium places and, most importantly, raising £60,000 for SHINE’s work.

Trois Etapes 2013 Lee leading 2 othersOver the years we’ve done lots of things to fund SHINE’s work. We’ve held Benefit Dinners. Auctioned off tennis games, golf matches and Caribbean holidays. Persuaded people to run around Windsor. We’ve even done karaoke. But we’ve never got on a bike.

Until this year, that is, when Team SHINE took on the Trois Etapes. Taking place over three days in late July, this is one of the most competitive pro-am cycling events in the world and involves some of the notoriously gruelling mountain stages of the Tour de France.

Pro-Am perfection

Trois Etapes 2013 car supporting teamSHINE’s team consisted of seven amateur racers and one professional – Jason White, Britain’s top-ranking road racer in 2011. As with the Tour de France, our eight cyclists raced as a team, complete with their own team car and Race Director.

Team SHINE finished sixth out of the 15 teams taking part. This impressive performance earned SHINE around $17,500 from the prize fund (donated by Goldman Sachs Gives); when added to sponsorship and other funds, this brings the total raised over three days of cycling to an amazing £60,000.

Podium places

BQF6HKCCQAEpwHbBesides our fantastic team result, SHINE’s cyclists put in some stunning individual performances: in the Prologue on the first day, Lee Frost beat all but one professional cyclist to come second overall, while Faye Reeve was the second fastest female amateur.

Many congratulations to them and, of course, to all our cyclistes magnifiques: Claudio Bruno, Lee Frost, Megan Kenney, John MacLeary, Gawie Nienaber, Faye Reeve and Steve Wood; Jason White, our team professional; and Forbes Pirrie, our team driver, who provided superb support. Many thanks for such a superb performance – the money they raised will certainly do a great deal to help a lot of disadvantaged children climb the academic mountains facing them in the classroom.

The Trois Etapes

Trois Etapes 2013 Gawie close  upThe Trois Etapes is a pro-am competitive cycling race designed to give riders the opportunity to race tactically as a team under the same conditions and with the same sort of support as professional cyclists taking part in a Grand Tour. Each team of seven amateurs and one professional has its own team car and race director who has a radio link to every cyclist.

This year, the Trois Etapes raced a flat Prologue and then two mountain stages, which involved climbing a total of more than 3km in height (a third mountain stage was cancelled because of appalling weather conditions). In total, the 2013 Trois Etapes has raised more than £2.2 million for charity.