The Prostate Cancer Charity Tour Rides finish on a high in Stoke-on-Trent

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Hundreds of cyclists got in the saddle for the cycling challenge of a lifetime by completing the last of The Prostate Cancer Charity's Tour Rides for 2011 in Stoke-on-Trent on Sunday, raising thousands of pounds in doing so. 

More than 1,200 riders took part in the Tour Ride as the event returned to the region for a third successive year. Riders were able to experience Stage Three of the official Tour of Britain route after the professionals who battled it out on the route earlier this month.

Whether riders took on the tough 140km Pro Ride across the hilly Staffordshire Moorlands or the shorter but none-the-less rewarding 80km Challenge Ride, the Stoke-on-Trent Tour Ride was no ordinary challenge, for no ordinary cause. The circular route started and finished in the Trentham Estate.

Smooth radio presenter Mark Goodier took part in the Stoke-on-Trent ride for the second year running, having completed the Wales Tour Ride earlier this summer. He said; "It was a really hard ride - I thought it might be easier the second time around! I think me being a year older than last year definitely didn't help either!

"There were a lot of people out along the route cheering the riders on which I found really encouraging. It really is amazing to see so many people supporting the Charity. I would definitely challenge everyone to do it next year."

Rob Stevenson from Abbots Bromley in Staffordshire, who took part in the Challenge Tour Ride, said; "I only signed up for the ride a couple of weeks ago - I was roped in by my friends! It's a brilliant event and everybody wins - it's great for your health and great for the Charity.

"I really enjoyed myself and it felt good to do something for a worthy cause. The undulating route was very pleasant and I'll definitely be back next year."

Anna Walker and her husband Timothy travelled from Clapham in London to do the Challenge and Pro Tour Rides respectively. She said; "This was my third year of taking part in this ride and I loved the route this year - I preferred it to recent years. The countryside looked beautiful - even in the rain!

"My husband had prostate cancer ten years ago and is now fully recovered and a trustee for the Charity. Events like this are fantastic to raise money and to help raise awareness of this important issue."

Paul Ward from Harefield took on the Challenge Tour Ride with his friends - raising £2,500 for the Charity in doing so. He said; "I had a few personal reasons for doing the ride. My Dad rode in the Tour in 1959 and then was sadly diagnosed with prostate cancer last year - thankfully he is now in recovery.

"It's my first event for The Prostate Cancer Charity and I really enjoyed it. It is a great ride"

Andy Lulham travelled from Crawley to take part in the Tour Ride. He said; "I really enjoyed the ride, it's quite challenging but not as hilly as I thought it might be. My Uncle has been battling prostate cancer for ten years and other men in my family have also been affected. I've been raising money for the Charity at a number of events this summer and I found this ride extremely enjoyable."

Katie Robbins, Tour of Britain Project Manager at The Prostate Cancer Charity, said: "It is fantastic to see so many people taking to their bikes to raise funds for such an important cause. We are extremely pleased to bring the Tour Ride back to Stoke-on-Trent for the third year in a row and the local people continue to really embrace the event with enthusiasm. 

"I would like to say a huge thank you to all the riders that took part today and their friends and family that came down to cheer them on. Please do keep your sponsorship money coming in, it is not too late to show the charity your support and there are great incentives available!"

Prior to today's event, there had been four previous Tour Rides in East Anglia, Wales, Scotland and London; all designed the raise funds to help the Charity fight the most common cancer in men in the UK.

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