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Highlights: £43,000 raised in Bike to Villa challenge

33 Palace fans have completed a mammoth cycle in aid of Palace for Life, riding to Villa Park and raising over £43,000 in the process. Watch the highlights below...

33 incredible Palace fans took on the ultimate away day on a two-day cycling challenge from Selhurst Park to Villa Park last weekend, raising £43,000 between them to help Palace for Life support even more young south Londoners.

This was the third cycling challenge in a series of events that began with Bike to Bournemouth in 2020, which saw the group cycle to the Cherries’ Vitality Stadium despite the game getting cancelled halfway through the ride due to the pandemic, and then onto Southampton in 2022, which ended in a stoppage time Zaha goal to put the icing on the cake of a brilliant weekend.

The incredible effort of the riders to pedal 140 miles to Birmingham this year, compared with 100 on previous rides, has increased the fundraising target by £10,000 compared to last year’s challenge.

The first day of the ride began early in the morning, with the riders setting off from Selhurst Park and pushing themselves to complete 100 miles in one day. Amongst the cyclists were Crystal Palace official DJ Jay Knox, Crystal Palace Chief Financial Officer Sean O’Loughlin, and Palace for Life staff Tom Richardson, Tom Prance and Arnaud Zadi.

After a stop off for lunch in the Hertfordshire countryside, evening fell and the cyclists arrived at their hotel in Warwick, exhausted but proud of the day’s ride. They enjoyed a well-earned dinner, drinks, and rest before facing the final leg of their journey on Saturday.

Day two saw the cyclists back on the saddle to complete the final 40 miles to Birmingham, finishing up at Powerleague where they were presented with their medals and congratulated on their mission.

Bobby Webbe, Senior Fundraising Coordinator said:

“Bike to Villa was another fantastic weekend, with a mixture of new and familiar faces in the saddle for Palace for Life. Day one was a tough 100-mile ride in chilly conditions, but seeing the incredible physical effort put in by each of our riders, and the camaraderie between them all was so inspiring to see. There was an immense sense of pride in the air as everyone crossed the finish line on Saturday morning.

I’d like to give a huge thank you to all of our riders and sponsors for contributing to another record-breaking event for the Foundation – we can’t wait to see where we’ll be cycling to in 2024!”

The next part of the afternoon may rather be forgotten by the majority of fans who made the journey as Palace suffered a 1-0 defeat to Villa due to an unfortunate first-half own goal from Joachim Andersen.

Despite the result, the real victory was in the cyclists’ achievement of raising over £43,000, all of which will help to scale projects to support the lives of young south Londoners.

A huge thank you goes to our Bike to Villa sponsors, Access Credit Management and The Turmeric Co, as well as our incredible riders.

There’s still time to donate to our riders, and you can do so here.

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