15 July 2015

Television presenter, weather girl and keen cyclist, Sian Welby gave 30 courageous YMCA cyclists a rousing send off as they prepared to tackle France’s infamous Mont Ventoux.

Sian Welby, 28, joined the group to wish them luck as they set off from YMCA East Surrey’s Sports and Community Centre in Princes Road, Redhill, on Friday 10 July.

“I missed my train out of London by a couple of minutes and only just caught the cyclists before they left,” said Sian. “But no transport drama of mine can compare with the challenge that lies ahead of these guys!”

The YMCA’s fundraising event is an epic 700 mile road trip to the beautiful city of Avignon in the South of France, via the mammoth and renowned Mont Ventoux. Covering over 80 miles per day, the hardy group will be camping each night and ably assisted by a support team to help with incidents, repairs and refreshments.
“I’m wondering now if I’ve bitten off more than I can chew!” admitted Challenger Julia Guttridge from Horley before she left.

“I only started cycling this year as the nights got lighter and I wanted to give myself an experience to aim for. I’m an insulin dependent diabetic, so I have health issues too, and I’m really scared of going downhill! I’m looking forward to getting to know the rest of the group and taking in the gorgeous French countryside. My tactic is to break the trip down into manageable chunks of time and keep focussed on each part.”
So far, Julia has raised £628 in sponsorship money.

All funds raised from the Mont Ventoux event will go directly into the YMCA East Surrey Challenge fund which provides vital resources for their projects across East Surrey.

One of the main upcoming projects is to create a new and unique disability sports, fitness and wellbeing facility – the first of its kind in East Surrey – designed to inspire and support people of all ages and ability to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.