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The organisers of an annual charity cycling event has announced that its ‘Cassis to Monaco Cycle Challenge’ sponsored by Arctic Club, has raised a staggering £600,000 for disabled children.

The event saw a team of 14 cyclists, including Talia Storm, the 19 year old Scottish singer and songwriter discovered by Sir Elton John, undertaking a punishing 155 mile ride through southern France to raise vital funds for Caudwell Children, the Staffordshire based charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.

The spectacular ride from the rustic Mediterranean fishing harbour of Cassis to the glamorous Principality, on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th October, 2018, was the brainchild of Modesta Vzesniauskaite, the 34 year old former Olympic cyclist who represented Lithuania, in the women’s road race at the 2008 summer Olympics, in Beijing.

Caudwell ChildrenSarah Freeth, challenge and events manager at Caudwell Children, said the lung busting efforts of those taking part in the event was something to behold. As she explained: “It was a tough ride at times with cyclists setting off from 8.00am.

“The first day saw the team cycling from Cassis to Frejus, in Provence, a distance of 95 miles, whilst the second days ride to Monte Carlo saw them covering a further 60 miles.

“To compound this they also had to contend with 2,666 metres of accent on day one and 1,939 metres on day two.”

To cope with the physical challenge riders took regular pit stops along the route to ensure that they were hydrated properly. It also allowed them to eat the snacks needed to give them the energy to complete the ride.

“Whilst it was a tough challenge at times the riders did get to enjoy the stunning scenery,” said Sarah. “At times they followed the road along the coast enjoying the sun’s reflections off the azure Mediterranean, before riding through many picturesque, historic, and ancient places of interest.

“It was a beautiful ride that our cyclists will remember forever.”

Also on the ride was Modesta’s partner John Caudwell, who founded the charity in 2000. The pair were delighted that the team completed the challenge and they celebrating their success at the Monaco Butterfly Ball, gala dinner, held at the 5 star Salle Belle Epoque, at the Hotel Hermitage Monte Carlo, on Sunday 7th October.

Guests enjoyed a spectacular evening of entertainment, hosted by Darius Campbell-Danesh, the multi-talented singer, songwriter, musician, actor and film producer, who first rose to fame in the UK in 2001, after appearing in the British talent competition Popstars.

Les Ballets De Monte Carlo opened the show, followed by the unique sounds of Symphonics, a band whose classic meets electronic influences captivated the audience.

Guests were then treated to a scintillating set from Talia Storm before they enjoyed an exclusive raffle and ‘money can’t buy’ auction that helped to raise the eye watering sum of £600,000.

“Since John founded the charity he has helped to support over 35,000 children with over 650 medical conditions at a cost of £40 million,” said Trudi Beswick, Chief Executive of Caudwell Children. “So raising this staggering amount will help us to support even more of the 800,000 disabled children in the UK.

”We couldn’t be prouder of Modesta, John and the teams efforts and we’d also like to thank our sponsors Arctic Club and Burgess Yachts. Without their support the event may not have been possible.”