Yorkshire cyclists to embark on second stage of epic Arctic to Africa ride

30 July 2018

A group of Yorkshire cyclists are set to begin the second stage of a three-year challenge to ride 4,500 miles from the Arctic to Africa which is raising money for dementia research.

Sean McPartland, David Kent, Paul Warner and Lee Lund completed the first stage last year, riding 1,400 miles from Nordkapp in Norway, the most northern point in Europe, to Gothenburg in Sweden.

Now the team, who all live in or around Harrogate, are set to head back to Gothenburg to begin the next leg on Tuesday, August 7. They will again attempt to ride 1,400 miles, with the route taking them through Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and France before finishing with a lap of the Formula One Grand Prix road circuit in Monaco. They are expecting to take 15 days.

Arctic to Africa phase one cyclists and support crew

Arctic to Africa phase one cyclists and support crew

They have already raised nearly £13,000 for Alzheimer’s Research UK and hope to have raised more than £30,000 by the time they finish the final stage next year which will be from Monaco to Casablanca in Morocco.

Race organiser Sean, 47, who lives in Birstwith, said:

“The second phase is going to be very different to the first.

“The main challenge with the first phase was the cold. There were times when we couldn’t feel our hands and feet.

“It was also such a barren landscape. You could ride 30 to 40 miles without seeing anything – not a house or a car. That made it very challenging mentally and we had to work together as a team and help pick each other up when we got down.

“With the second phase, the heat is going to be a big challenge. Germany will be extremely hot, as will Italy.

Arctic to Africa phase one left to right Sean McPartland Amy Holmes David Kent Paul Warner Lee Lund (front)

Arctic to Africa phase one left to right Sean McPartland Amy Holmes David Kent Paul Warner Lee Lund (front)

There’s also a lot more climbing, particularly in the Alps. We’ll be climbing 55,000 feet, that’s about twice the height of Everest and is double what we climbed in the first stage.

“Our fitness levels have to be a lot higher. We all started training a lot earlier. I started training in October, four months earlier than for the last challenge.”

Sean, who is company director of Logic Fire & Security in Knaresborough, chose to support the UK’s leading dementia research charity as his father-in-law died with Alzheimer’s disease.

He said:

“It was very difficult to see the stress and pain that my wife went through with her father and how it affected the whole family. Alzheimer’s is such a cruel disease. I want to support research as what we ultimately need is to find a cure.”

To sponsor the team go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/arctic2africa

Alongside sponsorship, the main fundraiser for the challenge is the annual Great Nidd Bike Ride, which Sean set up last year.

Around 70 people took part in the inaugural 50-mile ride, which, along with a ball in the evening, raised around £4,000.

This year’s event, which includes 50-mile and 68-mile routes, takes place on Saturday, September 15. For more information and to sign up go to www.arctictoafrica.com/greatniddbikeride

Claire Priestwood, Alzheimer’s Research UK Regional Fundraising Officer for the North East, said:

“We can’t thank Sean and his team enough for everything they are doing to raise vital funds for dementia research and support the work we are doing to bring about the first life-changing dementia treatment by 2025.

“We would like to wish them the best of luck in this latest stage of their epic challenge and we look forward to following their progress.

“The money they are raising will power world-class dementia research projects and help bring an end to the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia.”

For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK, or to find out more about fundraising for the charity, call 0300 111 5555 or visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org