Tour de Sez charity ride cancelled due to Covid

CONTINUED Covid uncertainty has resulted in a planned charity ride from Guernsey to Rome next year being cancelled.

Cyclists depart on the 2018 tour to Amsterdam. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 30234242)
Cyclists depart on the 2018 tour to Amsterdam. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 30234242)

The Naked Leaf Tour de Sez charity bike ride had been due to take place next September.

Sarah Groves Foundation managing trustee Vic Groves said the charity’s trustees had made the decision with heavy hearts.

‘We realise this will come as an enormous disappointment to the organisers, participants and sponsors who have supported us tirelessly,’ he said.

‘This is not a decision we have taken lightly and the primary reason for cancelling the ride is the continued uncertainty caused by the Covid pandemic. September 2022 is still 10 months away, but the effects of the pandemic are far-reaching. This unpredictable environment makes planning, organisation, management, security and costs impossible to control. These factors are accentuated when crossing international borders.’

The organisers, riders and event sponsors have been notified and Mr Groves thanked them for their understanding.

‘We appreciate our amazing riders have put in many hours of training, they have already raised funds and in some cases have been supported by employers with matched funding,’ he said.

‘We will offer refunds wherever we can and would welcome the opportunity to clarify or answer any questions regarding fundraising over the coming weeks.’

Mr Groves gave special thanks to Gary Hooks, Leon Howard and Sue Farnham, who have been an integral part of the tour ever since the early days of Paris in 2014.

‘We fully appreciate your immense and heartfelt support of the Sarah Groves Foundation and how important these events are to you,’ he said.

‘Without your creativity and energy, the foundation would not be where it is today. We would like to retain that loyalty and support in whatever way we can in these challenging and unfortunate circumstances.’

The Sarah Groves Foundation was set up in memory of Mr Groves’ daughter and raises money for supporting projects that improve the lives of young people in both Guernsey and overseas.

The first Tour de Sez in 2014 saw 50 cyclists and support staff go from Guernsey to Paris, raising thousands for the charity. This was followed by Guernsey to Bilbao in 2016 with 65 riders and Guernsey to Amsterdam in 2018 with 85.

The Guernsey to Rome ride was originally scheduled for September 2021 with 100 riders.

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