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07 April 2015 Written by 

St Albans Team to cycle up the famous and feared "Giant of Provence" in France

A team of intrepid cyclists from Bidwells, will be hoping pedal-power and a lot of hard-work will help them make it to the top of the 'Giant of Provence' which is the most famous and feared climbs of the Tour de France.

The team from the property consultancy firm's Residential Development Team includes, Sophie Illingworth and Toby Lambert (support driver) from the St Albans office. They will be cycling to the summit of Mont Ventoux on Saturday 16th May to raise money for the East Anglia's Children's Hospices.

Mont Ventoux has been part of the Tour de France since 1951, located in the Provence region of southern France and it is the largest mountain the region and has been nicknamed the 'Giant of Provence'.

They team will be taking the Bedoin route which is the most difficult ascent. The route from Bedoin to the summit of Mont Ventoux is 21km long and has an average gradient of 7.5% with some sections in excess of 10%.

The team will be funding the trip themselves which will last four-days as this includes travel and set up time.

Brian Buckingham, Head of Residential Development, said: "We have all begun training in earnest, although for those that are based in Cambridgeshire, finding hills is proving to be one of the biggest challenges.

"Bidwells has been celebrating its 175th anniversary and employees have been doing lots of adventurous and sometimes unusual fund-raising events to raise money for our chosen charities.

"The Residential Team decided we wanted to do something a little different and I made the suggestion of us tackling Mont Ventoux, and surprisingly they all agreed.

"I have no doubt this is going to be an exceptionally tough challenge, but we are all going to do our best and it's great that we will be raising money for this outstanding charity."

As part of the fund-raising efforts the team are tendering six "lots" on each of the cyclist's jersey whereby local housing developers can bid for a lot and the highest bidders will be given pride of place sponsorship logos on the team shirt.

The team is made up of Brian Buckingham, Alex Cox, Hannah Beamish, Geoff Leyland, Sarah Cullen from the Cambridge office, Ian Wickerson from the Chelmsford office, Simon Thomas, Andy Haynes and Matthew Dawson from the Milton Keynes office, and Sophie Illingworth and Toby Lambert (support driver) from the St Albans office.

Karen Newton, EACH Cambridgeshire Fundraiser said : "Everyone at EACH would like to wish the Bidwells team luck in this fantastic challenge of cycling to the summit of Mont Ventoux. The support Bidwells have shown the charity whilst celebrating their 175th year has been tremendous and it's wonderful to see so many of their staff getting behind their fundraising and generously giving up their time. All the money raised will allow EACH to continue it's vital work caring for children and young people with life-threatening conditions and supporting their families."

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