Pedal power carries big-hearted Mercedes-Benz Vans cyclists to a new charity triumph

The Mercedes-Benz Vans ‘chain gang’ have done it again, pedalling the gruelling 62 miles between Manchester and Blackpool to net another cash windfall of more than £20,000 for Cancer Research.

Their magnificent effort in Sunday’s (7 July) sponsored cycle means that over the last three years riders representing the brand have raised a staggering total in excess of £65,000 for deserving causes… and the money continues to roll in!

The ride is staged annually by The Christie cancer charity, with some 6,000 cyclists of all standards taking part. More than 80 Mercedes-Benz colleagues, customers, suppliers and friends, started this year’s event at Media City, Salford – every one of them would negotiate the scenic Lancashire lanes and make it to the finishing line on Blackpool’s South Promenade.

Uppermost in the minds of the cyclists and supporters was former Mercedes-Benz van sales manager Tim Page, who lost his short battle with cancer earlier this year. A well-known and beloved figure within the Mercedes-Benz Vans Retail network, Tim had worked at the Westbury headquarters of Dealer Group Rygor Commercials since 2003, having spent the previous seven years with East Anglia Dealer Orwell Truck & Van.

“Tim was a key member of the company team and greatly respected and loved by those he worked with,” said Director Paul Reed, one of several Rygor colleagues who travelled up to Manchester to take part in the ride.

Also remembered once again was Martyn Donnelly, a former van sales manager with two Mercedes-Benz Dealers in the North-East, who succumbed to the disease in 2017. His untimely death was the main focus of last year’s fundraising drive.

Mercedes-Benz Vans Managing Director Steve Bridge has now completed the ride in each of the last three years. “This is a fantastic event and one that I now look forward to each July,” he said. “I’ll admit, though, to being relieved there was no repeat this time of the 30oC temperatures we endured in 2018!

“I’m tremendously proud of the Mercedes-Benz Vans team, and delighted that we’ve again smashed our £20,000 target. This tremendous achievement serves to remind us that although we’ve had another great day out, and shared a few very welcome beers as well as some pie and mash at our post-event picnic, we’ve also been supporting the best of causes.”

Cancer survival rates have doubled over the past 40 years. Consistent progress is being made but improvements to technology and ground-breaking work offer new opportunities to find different ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer and improve survival rates even further.

Supplementing the money raised through sponsorship contributions by participants, Mercedes-Benz Vans is also supporting Cancer Research UK through its Giving Back Programme.

Steve continued: “While our former colleagues were certainly front of mind, we’ve all had loved ones who have died from or overcome cancer, or are struggling with it right now. Hopefully the money we’ve raised will mean that in the future more people like Tim and Martyn survive this awful disease.”

He added: “I’d like to pay special tribute to District Manager Liz Verwey, who pulls everything together each year on behalf of our Charity Committee, and for the ‘backroom’ team of drivers and others who give up their Sunday to provide such fantastic support. This truly is a team effort, so my thanks and a huge ‘Well done’ go to all.”