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The Fifth Nelson’s Tour De Test Valley Sportive

What a weekend! CALM want to say a monumental thank you to the 970 riders who saddled up last Saturday at Britain’s Best Sportive, Nelson’s Tour de Test Valley.

It was the biggest team yet for the three-route cycle sportive in memory of pro-snowboarder and top gent Nelson Pratt. 

Three routes of 25, 50 and 100 miles started and finished at Pratt’s Farm in Andover, taking riders through the picturesque countryside and villages of West Berkshire and Hampshire.

It was a huge family celebration welcoming riders of all abilities, from eleven year olds taking on the 25 miles up to seasoned riders like Nelson’s close friend and Olympic snowboarder, Jenny Jones tackling 100.

Now in it’s fifth year, Tour De Test Valley riders have raised almost a quarter of a million pounds for CALM! Donations are still coming in, and the 2017 total is expected to pass the £30,000 mark soon. This event has helped us take over 30,000 calls and webchats and funded a seat on the helpline for four years.

Nelson’s best friend, event organiser and CALM Trustee Marcus Chapman was hugely grateful…

“Even though the event has been going five years, the atmosphere this year felt really special. Not just because mother nature was kind, tickling riders with some rare sunshine, but from all the smiles, positive energy and huge personal efforts on the bike that help make a difference in tackling male suicide. Things are changing, more people are talking about mental health, opening up with their own stories and helping smash the stigma. There is help out there, every pedal stroke and bead of sweat from this ride is helping make a difference. I can’t thank all our riders, volunteers and brands enough who help make this event so special and support CALM in their mission. Nelson’s memory lives on and is having a real impact. Ride on Nelly!”

We’re absolutely blown away by the heroic riding and fundraising efforts. A special shout out must go to Mark Berry from North Devon who ran the 100 mile route, setting off at 4pm and running through the night – bonkers! More fundraising shout outs and special moments are on the way – including our highlights film featuring some beautiful drone footage (and Nelson’s good friend Hamish in a gold onesie and blonde wig.)

Check out the finisher photos on Facebook and make sure to tag yourself and your friends.

Big up…

All the partners and sponsors that help make this event happen, without them nothing would be possible. VANS Footwear, Langdowns DFK, Knight Frank, Madison, Harry Lodge from Halo Sports, Andy Cook Cycling and Abbots Anne Cycles. Plus a massive thanks to the Pratt Family, Bowtell’s Caterers, Medi-Bike riders and Ricky Hill on his bike, Ivan’s Coffee, Stockbridge Physio’s, Pimhil Farm for the muesli, Gary Harris Bike Mechanics, Results Base, the Army guys for running the bar, Dale Stiling for another awesome jersey design, Olympic snowboarders Jenny Jones and Aimee Fuller, and all the amazing friends and volunteers who make the event happen. Without them nothing would be possible. Without our trusty volunteers we wouldn’t have a hope of pulling this event off. From the registration staff, to the feed station crews, Rod and Bill on the farm, to all the people who helped bake food and hand out goodie bags. Legends the lot of you!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article or in the comments below, are not those held by CALM or its Trustees unless stated, and liability cannot be accepted for such comments. We encourage friendly and constructive debate, but please don't share personal contact details when commenting and exercise caution when considering any advice offered by others. We don’t allow abusive, offensive or inappropriate comments or comments that could be interpreted as libellous, defamatory or commercial and we will remove these without warning as and when we find them.

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