373-cycling festival charity picCyclists who took part in last year’s Isle of Wight Cycling Festival raised a total of £40,804 for charitable causes.

Two of the cycling festival’s biggest events raised around £20,000 each for their chosen charities, while other rides during the two-week festival last September raised smaller amounts totalling £804 for a range of good causes including Myeloma UK, Sq2Sq Appeal, The Woodland Trust, Heartbeat House, Pop N Grow, Gift to Nature, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and the Earl Mountbatten Hospice.

The Wightlink Wight Challenge, a triathlon consisting of a 19-mile mountain bike ride, two-mile open canoe and eight-mile running challenge raised just over £20,000 for Wessex Heartbeat, Sail 4 Cancer and The Rainbow Centre.

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‘A massive thanks to all the competitors’

Joanna Minchin, organiser of the Wightlink Wight Challenge, said: “A massive thanks to all the competitors, sponsors and helpers for their enthusiastic support of the Wightlink Wight Challenge. The three charities really appreciate the boost given by the event; 2013 is our tenth year and we are delighted to be part of the Isle of Wight Council’s Cycling Festival again.”

Cycle the Wight, a 70-mile endurance ride around the Isle of Wight raised just over £20,000 thanks to the 491 cyclists who took part in the gruelling ride.

Neil Jarrett, fundraising manager for the British Heart Foundation, said: “Thank you to everyone who was involved in Cycle the Wight 2012. The British Heart Foundation allocates funds to local communities to provide equipment, fund nurses and benefit heart support groups, alongside pioneering research that benefits us all. The money raised at this event contributed greatly to the fight against heart disease. We are looking forward to running the 2013 event and hope to build on what is always a very successful day.”

Councillor David Pugh, leader of the Isle of Wight Council, said: “The cycling festival is a very popular event attracting thousands of cyclists to the Island to enjoy our varied cycling terrain and stunning scenery each year. I am delighted that it is playing a part in supporting local and national charities and would like to thank everyone who has contributed.”

The Isle of Wight Cycling Festival, which began in 1996 and was re-launched by the Isle of Wight Council in 2003 as part of its support for the tourism industry, will take place from 14 to 29 September this year.

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Photograph: Isle of Wight Council

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