Michelin riders prepare to saddle up for 450km South African adventure
A group of five cyclists from Michelin’s UK head office is preparing to swap Stoke-on-Trent for South Africa, as they take on some of the country’s most spectacular scenery, riding 450km in five days from the Western Cape to the southern-most tip of the African continent.
The team is representing Michelin as part of a major fundraising initiative for Transaid, an international development organisation that transforms lives through safe, available, and sustainable transport.
Whilst in South Africa, they will also be putting Michelin’s latest generation of mountain bike tyres to the ultimate test, with some of the first production sets of Michelin FORCE XC tyres in the world being flown to Cape Town and fitted to the team’s bikes for the ride.
Guy Heywood, Commercial Director of Michelin Europe North, and a veteran of three previous international cycle challenges with Transaid, says: “There’s no denying this ride is going to be challenging, but every mile will be worth it – no matter how painful. As a team, we’ve already raised more than £24,000 this year for Transaid; it’s a charity very close to our hearts, as Michelin was one of the founding members 19 years ago.”
Commenting on the team’s preparation, he adds: “We’ve been doing a lot of training to get the miles under our belts, but on the ground in South Africa we know the terrain is going to be a whole different ball game. That’s why we want the reassurance of riding on Michelin tyres. It’s also the perfect testing ground for our latest product.”
Cycling alongside Guy will be Dan Lamb and Jeremy Wheeler, both Technical Managers for Michelin’s truck tyre division in Europe North. They will be joined by Pete Goodman, National Sales Manager for the UK and Ireland earthmover division, and Henry Thain, Regional Sales Manager for the truck team in North UK and Ireland.
Also taking part as honorary team members will be retired Michelin colleague Mike Wilson and Luke Stonier, a Director of TRS Tyres in Morecambe – a major supplier of Michelin products.
The Michelin group will form part of a 40-strong peloton of cyclists taking part in the challenge, which runs from 10th to 19th March, with participants representing firms from across the transport and logistics industry.
Cycle South Africa 2017 represents one of several cycle challenges being taken on by Michelin this year. Guy and his team are also busy fundraising for the Peter Pan Centre – a Staffordshire-based charity for children with special needs – and is currently scheduled to take part in the London 100 ride, the Man vs Mountain challenge up Mount Snowdon and a 50th anniversary ride up Mount Ventoux three times in 24 hours, on vintage bikes.
For more information and to sponsor Team Michelin in their latest cycle fundraising, please visit: https://tinyurl.com/gu4vlyg
Michelin, the leading tyre company, is dedicated to sustainably improving the mobility of goods and people by manufacturing, distributing and marketing tyres for every type of vehicle. It also offers innovative business support services, digital mobility services and publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Clermont-Ferrand, France, Michelin is present in 170 countries, has 112,300 employees and operates 68 production plants in 17 countries. The Group also has a Technology Centre, responsible for research and development, with operations in Europe, North America and Asia. (www.michelin.com)