Setting off on 4 July, 22 dedicated challenge cyclists took on the Raid Alpine route, cycling 770 kilometres through some of the most feared climbs, to raise funds for Cure Parkinson’s and support the charity’s search for a cure.

Leaving the shores of Lake Geneva behind, the cyclists focused all their effort on the steep hills ahead, including the Col de l’Iseran and the Cime de la Bonette, climbing some 18,000 metres – that’s over twice the height of Everest – finally finishing their quest in the coastal town of Nice.

Day one saw our riders tackling118km from Thonon-les-Bains to La Clusaz, taking on 3,200m of climbs along the way!

On day two, our riders cycled 99km with 2900m of ascent from La Clusaz to Bourg-St-Maurice, the popular town at the foot of the ski resorts of Tignes and Val D-Isere.

Day three of the legendary Raid Alpine challenge saw our riders cycle through the beautiful Col de L’Iseran, the highest true mountain pass in the Alps!

On day four, the team cycled 120km and faced two of the most iconic climbs the Alps has to offer: the Col du Galibier and Col d’Izoard, climbing an incredible 3200m of ascent!

Day five was the biggest challenge of the whole route as the team faced 3400m of ascent, tackling the Cime de la Bonette, the highest Col in Europe!

Within the group taking on this historic challenge were patron Mike Tindall, fellow 2003 Rugby World Cup winner Iain Balshaw and Cure Parkinson’s CEO Will Cook. Mike Tindall is no stranger to getting on his bike to raise funds for Cure Parkinson’s, having taken on the Raid Pyrenean challenge in 2019.

18,000 metres of climbing as a 100kg man doesn’t really sit that well with me.

We’re bringing research from around the world together so any support you can give will be massively appreciated. Please donate, I’m sure I’ll need picking up

Mike Tindall

As any distance cyclist knows, the test doesn’t just begin at the start. A physical and mental challenge of this nature demands a level of fitness only achieved after many months of training; this is no mean feat, not least if you are also managing Parkinson’s.

Five of the team cycling with Mike live with Parkinson’s and among them was GP and Public Health Consultant Dr Claire Lehman who was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s in 2017, aged 37. Claire set off from the UK for Lake Geneva on her bike, cycling there before the start!

I am really keen to raise funds towards a cure. The research that Cure Parkinson’s funds is not only working to slow, stop or reverse the progression of this degenerative condition, but it also motivates me with hope.

Claire Lehman

Claire joined fellow team mate Alison Anderson, who was featured in the recent BBC Breakfast film about living with Parkinson’s, alongside Mike, whose father has Parkinson’s.  Claire and Alison were part of a group spreading the journey over ten days, whilst the other group included three further people with Parkinson’s;  Simon Bland, Pete Anthem and Gary Shaughnessy joined Mike, Iain and 12 others for the intense six day challenge.

This much-awaited event was finally able to take place following pandemic cancellations in 2020 and 2021. After the uncertainty of the last two years, Cure Parkinson’s is delighted that fundraising events have now returned, with a renewed sense of purpose, and we’d love to see even more people getting involved; there are a whole host of fabulous events happening throughout the summer!

To support the Raid Alpine team’s epic challenge and Cure Parkinson’s work to find a cure please visit the team’s JustGiving fundraising page to donate – Thank you!

Follow all the incredible goings on via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Get involved with your own Raid ‘Local’

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Organise your own fundraiser

There are endless ways you can fundraise and get creative for a cure, and however you choose to fundraise we’ll help you get started.

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