On yer bike! Countdown to the Nello charity ride

The Nello marks 20 years raising funds for FORCE in 2019. Picture: FORCE

The Nello marked 20 years raising funds for FORCE in 2019 - Credit: FORCE

Legendary annual charity bike ride The Nello will take place on Sunday, June 27.
Since the first Nello Century Cycle Challenge in 2000, the ride has raised more than £1million for Force, which works locally to support anyone affected by cancer, face-to-face and close to home.
The ride has grown from attracting a field of 90 cyclists in that first year to regularly filling up to its 1,500 capacity. 
In 2019 the ride raised £120,000 for the charity which was a massive milestone.
A charity spokesman said: “Thank you to everyone who has helped to achieve this and in 2020, despite Covid restrictions meaning the event could not take place as a mass gathering, over 750 participants cycled on a date to suit them – and still raised over £75,000 – something we are immensely proud of.”
Sarah Daniels, head of income generation at Force Cancer Charity, said: “The Nello is a day when old friends and new come together to take part in an exciting, enduring and enjoyable day out. 
“Everybody has their own personal reason for taking part – but they are also all there to support Force and raise funds to support people affected by cancer in our area. It is a joy to be part of such a wonderful spectacle and to see the delight on the cyclists faces as they come across the finish line having succeeded in their challenge. A great many people support our ride and offer food, water, music and time – the event quite simply could not take place without their generous support, in particular Bike Shed who support so many riders on the route and ensure no-one gets lost and Exeter Physio who sort out all the aches and pains on the finish line!”
The 1,500 cyclists start at Topsham Rugby Club and head to Tiverton via Poltimore and Killerton, joining the A396 at the Ruffwell Lodge.
At Tiverton Rugby Club the route splits. 100 mile cyclists go to Dulverton via Exebridge; up on to Exmoor via the B3223, through Simonsbath and onto South Molton.
They stop at the Honey Farm in South Molton before heading to Morchard Road via the B3226.
The  55-mile cyclists go to Withleigh and then to Nomansland, then on to Black Dog, Brownstone and Morchard Bishop.
Cyclists meet at Morchard Road and head back to Exeter via Shobrooke, Efford and Shute (avoiding Crediton). They join the A377 near Cowley Bridge and come back across Exeter to Topsham Rugby Club finish point (officially via Bonhay Road and the By-Pass onto Topsham Road.
The event starts at 8am and finishes by 6pm. Organisers say they would anticipate the 900 cyclists on the 100 mile route going through the South Molton area predominantly between midday and 2pm but add: “Our cyclists’ refreshment stop at the Honey Farm is open from 10.30am to 3.30pm to cover the fast and the slow!”

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