Eighteen brave cyclists have raised more than £30,000 by way of a gruelling cycle from London to Reims in the Champagne region of France.
The challenge, which took place over the weekend, was organised by the Master Innholders in celebration of the Worshipful Company of Innholders (WCI) 500th anniversary of the granting of its first Royal Charter from Henry VIII, and in aid of the WCI Charitable Foundation.
Departing from Innholders Hall in London at 6.30am on Friday 11 September, the cycle team set off kitted out in cycling jerseys provided by Sky and made their way to Portsmouth to catch the overnight ferry to Caen, France.
On day two, the cyclists powered on through France heading east to Beauvais for their second overnight stay. It was not all plain cycling however with chairman of the Master Innholders Jonathan Raggett tweeting, “Bad day for team member @seftonhornwinch [Gareth Sefton] @MasterInnH 3 punctures in a day #MILondon2Champagne”.
Day three saw the cyclists arrive in Reims on Sunday afternoon where they were showered in Champagne courtesy of Taittinger who welcomed them to their famous cellars before hosting a dinner at one of their properties in the region.
Master Innholder, Andrew Stembridge is the managing director of Chewton Glen & Cliveden House and organised the event: “It was wonderful to be part of this amazing adventure, which was conceived at Innholders' Hall exactly a year ago. With the moral support of The Worshipful Company of Innholders, the Financial Support of Champagne Taittinger and seamless logistics of Cycle Tours UK, the trip was a great success on many levels, raising funds to contribute to the WCI's Quincentennial Fund.
“The eighteen strong group was a lively and energetic collection of hoteliers, many of whom have benefitted from the WCI's support in the past in the form of scholarships. With the odd wrong turn, 530 kilometres were covered in total, taking a suitably undulating route first to Portsmouth and then from Caen to Reims.
“Although each of the three days had its own particular challenges, day two stood out due to torrential and relentless rain throughout the day. A strong head wind and steep hills dominated the final day however any aches and ailments were soon forgotten as we were welcomed in style to Taittinger in a very civilised fashion. The team spirit throughout was outstanding and the grit and determination demonstrated by some of the less regular cyclists was impressive.”
All funds raises from the staggering challenge will go to the WCI Charitable Foundation who support a variety of charitable activities including the highly regarded Master Innholder Scholarships and Aspiring Leaders Diploma.
The Master Innholders would like to congratulate and thank the following cyclists for all of their hard work:
· Ivan Artolli, Managing Director, Verdura Golf and Spa Resort and RFH Group Operations
· Franck Arnold, General Manager, The Balmoral
· Richard Ball, Managing Director, Calcot Manor
· Mark Calver, Commercial Director, Hatch Mansfield
· Nicholas Davies, Hotel Manager, Brown’s Hotel
· Will Downey, Business Account Manager, Nestle Professional
· Jorge Gertrudes, Hotel Director, The Pig
· James Hiley-Jones, Operations Director, Greenclose Hotels
· Erick Kervaon, General Manager, The Bingham
· Matthew Long, General Manager, Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa
· Andrew Ovey, Healthcare, Alternatives & Special Situations, AXA Real Estate
· Danny Pecorelli, Managing Director, Exclusive Hotels and Venues
· Jonathan Raggett, Managing Director, Red Carnation Hotels
· Oliver Raggett, General Manager, Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel
· Gareth Sefton, Director, SeftonHornWinch
· Tom Simpson, Consultant Anaesthetist
· Kenneth Speirs, Hotel Director, Limewood
· Andrew Stembridge, Managing Director, Chewton Glen and Cliveden House
Donations are being accepted until 13 December 2015. Click here to show your support.