Charity cycle heading for Topsham

A major charity cycle is coming to Topsham- and places are still available to take part.

The FORCE Century Cycle Challenge takes place on June 26, starting and finishing from Topsham Rugby Club.

Last year, a record 737 riders took part, raising �55,000, and organisers are hoping that this year’s entry will set another new record.

This is the 12th year of the event, which raises money for Exeter’s FORCE Cancer Charity.

The event offers riders a choice between a 100 mile route, suitable for dedicated cyclists, and a 55 mile route, which offers a more leisurely-paced challenge.

After meeting at the rugby club, where breakfast will be provided, riders following both routes will head north from Topsham, passing through Exeter, Tiverton and Crediton, with the 100 mile route taking in a detour over the hills of Exmoor.

Both routes will then return to Topsham for the finish, where there will be food and music provided, as well as free physio treatment.

Most Read

The event’s 100 mile route follows the training route used by cyclists Marc Millon and Nello Ghezzo when they rode from Topsham to Venice in 1997.

The FORCE ride was set up in 1999 after Ghezzo’s death from cancer, and, in the 12 years since then, has raised more than �300,000.

FORCE Fundraising Manager Sarah Willocks said: “Interest in the cycle keeps going up and up.

“We’ve doubled our figures in the last two years, and this year we’re hoping to raise over �50,000 again.”

As well as looking for riders, the organisers also need volunteers to help man the stages and hand out supplies.

The charity is attempting to source all the supplies locally, and is still appealing to supermarkets for donations of malt loaf and jelly babies.

For more information, or to sign up, visit, or email