Following the incredible success of last year’s “Coast to Coast to Cure” challenge in the Pyrenees (the Raid Pyrenean), this June 46 supporters of The Cure Parkinson’s Trust (CPT) will be taking on the next extreme cycling challenge in the CPT Raid series: the legendary Raid Alpine. The team, which once again includes CPT Patron Mike Tindall MBE and fellow Rugby World Cup winner Iain Balshaw MBE, will be raising vital funds for CPT’s research into a cure for Parkinson’s. This challenge is one of several events taking place this year to mark CPT's 15th anniversary.

This gruelling test of endurance will see riders set off from the shores of Lake Geneva, weaving through the relentlessly steep Alpine climbs and descents towards Nice and finishing in the coastal Mediterranean town of Antibes.

With 800km to cover in six days, this Raid Alpine will test even the most experienced of cyclists. If that wasn’t enough, the journey also demands riders to take on 19,000m of ascent, which equates to over twice the height of Mount Everest.

Alongside Mike and Iain, CPT’s CEO Will Cook will also be returning cautiously to the saddle along with several other members of the 2019 Raid Pyrenean team. The riders will also include six people living with Parkinson’s and dozens of other brave supporters of CPT, all combining their efforts for this fundraising mission.

Long-term CPT supporter Alison Anderson was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s aged 46, and is no stranger to a long-haul cycle challenge having ridden from Vietnam to Cambodia in 2017 and from Land’s End to John O’Groats in 2018. Alison will be documenting her preparation for Raid Alpine in her blog The Ramblings of A Cyclopath, she said:

“I feel excited and daunted in equal measure; this is by far the hardest challenge I have undertaken. I have no doubt that it will challenge me physically, mentally and emotionally. Despite this, it feels fantastic to even think it might be possible for me to achieve this, five years after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s.”

Leona Macalister was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2012 and will also be taking part in the 2020 CPT Raid. She said:

“I’m starting to ramp up the training now. I’m excited for this opportunity to be part of a team doing something amazing, and for the opportunity to challenge myself like never before. I hope to inspire other people with Parkinson’s that anything is possible!”

 CPT’s CEO, Will Cook, added:

“It is fantastic to see how many people, including six living with Parkinson’s, have come together to tackle this enormous challenge in support of CPT. Most of us are not experienced cyclists, but all of us are dedicated to raising as much as we can for research into a cure for this condition. It is urgently needed. We challenged ourselves in the Pyrenees in 2019, and now we are literally taking it to the next level in the Alps. I am looking to June with both excitement and trepidation!”

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