Thousands take part in this year's Tour de Vale bike ride

A handcyclist takes part in this year's Tour de Vale
A handcyclist takes part in this year's Tour de Vale

Thousands of people took part in this year's Tour de Vale bike ride which started and finished at Stoke Mandeville Stadium on Sunday June 9.

A total of 1409 people took part in the bike ride and were able to enjoy a choice of three scenic cycle routes around the county.

The 25km route, mainly aimed at families, took cyclists through the villages of Bishopstone, Ford, and Marsh.

The second option was the 60km route which went through Waddesdon, Quainton, Edgcott, Grendon Underwood, Upper Winchendon and Stone.

Route number three was a hilly 100km route for cycle enthusiasts which took participants through Ludgershall, Boarstall, Stanton St John, Brill, and Stone.

Organisers hope the charity event will raise more than £50,000 for WheelPower who use the funds raised to transform the lives of disabled people across the nation by providing sporting opportunities and helping them to lead active lives.

Event organiser Jo Hall said: "It was a fantastic day and we are hugely grateful to everyone who took part.

"The event would not be possible without their support and that of our incredible volunteers, sponsors and supporters.

"We hope that everyone enjoyed the bike ride and will continue to support the charity in the future."

Kris Aves, a victim of the Westminster Bridge terror attack attended the event to award medals to those who had completed their cycle routes.

He said: "Without things like the Mix 96 Tour de Vale charity bike ride, WheelPower wouldn’t work.

"This main event supports the introduction of people into sport, whether it be at the inter spinal unit games, sports sessions during their hospital rehab, or at sports camps."

Martin McElhatton, the chief executive of WheelPower added: "The Mix 96 Tour de Vale charity bike ride is WheelPower’s biggest fundraising event and we are delighted that it has such appeal to our local community in Buckinghamshire.

"The vital funds it raises help us to support people like Kris who have had life changing injuries.

"By providing access to sport and physical activity WheelPower help people to overcome their injuries and see a positive future.

"I am hugely proud of everyone involved in staging another wonderful event this year."

A number of participants took part using handcycles, demonstrating the inclusive nature of this event.

Dan Metcalfe, who has experienced two serious car crashes in four years said: "I’ve just finished the 100km (62 miles) in my handcycle, and am so glad that the medal has a handcycle engraved onto it amazing!

"Without WheelPower, I’d have never got back into sport after my first accident.

"It’s what I live for, so thank you so much for this opportunity!"

Official race starter Will Gompertz, the BBC's arts editor said: "The Mix 96 Tour de Vale charity bike ride is a wonderful celebration of optimism, it lifts the curtain on summer and is a quintessentially British event!

"Thank you to all who are raising funds and sponsorship for WheelPower - a thoroughly worthwhile charity cause who support a great deal of people, both disabled and non-disabled here at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, they help all, and by all, I mean absolutely everyone in some way."

Ben Moseby, Mix 96 breakfast show co-presenter added: "‘What amazes me most about the Mix 96 Tour de Vale is that it is always popular – year on year it continues to pull out the stops, it’s such a wonderful family event and very accessible to all."

One participant on the 25km route commented: "We’ve brought the children along to take part.

"WheelPower is an amazing cause, and the Mix96 Tour de Vale is a wonderful chance to get active and give people who wouldn’t normally get an opportunity to get out like this, the chance to meet others and improve their lives positively.

"The whole event helps us and it helps them so it’s a win-win!’

Next year's Tour de Vale is on Sunday June 7 with entries open from February 2020.