They’re off! Charity cycle gets under way at Lauder

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The Tour de Lauder charity cycling event took place on Saturday with 250 riders heading out into the countryside.

Participants completed a 86 or 50-mile route to raise funds for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland in memory of Steve Cully, a Lauder resident who died suddenly in September 2011.

The Grand Depart at Thirlestane Castle played host to family activities, including a children’s mini-tour along the Castle Drive. As well as taking part, Steve’s wife Rosie delivered a moving speech at the start before sending the riders on their way. The sun shone for most of the day, and all the riders returned safely with tales to tell – mostly involving the community volunteers who took part in cheering on the riders and maintaining supplies of home baking along the way.

First 50-miler over the line was Steven Littlewood (approx. 3hr 10min), while Sean Clarke (approx. 4hr 45min) headed the 86-milers.

The cash realised so far stands in excess of £7,000 – with more still coming in. The pasta party for finishers, hosted by the Lauderdale Hotel, saw a charity auction, including a signed Sir Chris Hoy skinsuit which raised £600, as well as a Mark Cavendish Tour de France sprinter’s jersey which fetched £320.