The largest Legal & General Real Assets Cycle to MIPIM 2017 arrived into Cannes in fine style last week. Organiser Club Peloton’s flagship charity cycle challenge saw 190 cyclists from London’s property industry and 10 from Paris cross the finish line on the Esplanade Pantiero to a waiting crowd of friends, colleagues and supporters, having cycled 1,500km from London in six days.
As well as putting in many thousands of kilometres, the riders have raised an incredible £550,000 for charity, including principal beneficiary Coram, the UK’s first children’s charity, and are well on track to reach their target of £600,000.
Despite the kindness of the weather in the south of France, and the resulting sunburned faces, the event is no holiday. The riders have experienced pre-dawn alarm calls, incredibly long days in the saddle and very late finishes, only to have to do it all over again the next day. With 125 new cyclists on the ride, many have cycled more in one day than they ever thought possible. Along the way they have been helped by the support they have received both on and off the bike from their fellow riders, Ride Captains and support crew.
This year also marked a huge milestone in the history of Cycle to MIPIM, which for the first time ran two routes of 100 riders each. One route went via Folkestone and the other via Portsmouth, and both came together on the fourth day to ride the same route the rest of the way to Cannes, in time for the start of property conference MIPIM. Despite the biggest ever pelotons out on the road, with more riders than ever on their bikes, the cyclists gelled well together, learning to cycle smoothly and safely as one in a big group, sometimes at some quite fearsome speeds.
Of the funds raised by this year’s event, two-thirds will go to Coram’s adoption programme, helping some of the UK’s most disadvantaged children find loving homes.
Dr Carol Homden, CBE, Chief Executive of Coram said, “This year has seen the biggest Cycle to MIPIM event yet, and every rider is a record-breaker. The funds they have raised will make a life-changing difference.
“The other day we met a little boy in care, who has suffered immensely and is looking for a family. With Cycle to MIPIM’s help, he will find one. Just as the riders have protected, supported and inspired each other on their journey, we continue to protect, support and inspire all children so that no child is left behind. We can’t thank them enough for what them do.”
Bill Hughes, Head of LGIM Real Assets, said, “This year’s Cycle to MIPIM didn’t just build on last year’s, it doubled it – a major logistical feat which allowed much greater industry participation. It was fantastic to welcome so many new faces to the ride. Cycle to MIPIM is an intimidating challenge for those that have never done it before – and even those that have – but the support we received makes the challenge possible.
“Beyond that, I am very proud of everyone’s fundraising efforts – we crossed the half million mark mid-event. The support and generosity of those that sponsor us is the best boost to tired legs. And of course, along the way we have made new contacts and friends from all across the industry, as well as refreshing old ones, and there’s no doubt that networks will have been strengthened and friendships made.”
Nick Hanmer, CEO of Club Peloton, commented, “To see 200 cyclists cross the finish line in Cannes was amazing. They have made this year’s Cycle to MIPIM the best yet, and to have raised more than half a million pounds so far is an amazing achievement. The support that this event receives from the property industry cannot be underestimated – with old and new sponsors on board and the enthusiasm of everyone that takes part, Cycle to MIPIM can only continue to go from strength to strength.”