Friends take to the saddle for fundraising ride

Four of the Old Boys taking part in the Cotswold Crunch cycle ride. Pictured the four riders from left Brian Channon, Andy Lazenbury, Neal Utting and Mark Rymell with landladies of the Old Badger Inn in Eastington left Ellie Sainty and right Julie Gilbors

Four of the Old Boys taking part in the Cotswold Crunch cycle ride. Pictured the four riders from left Brian Channon, Andy Lazenbury, Neal Utting and Mark Rymell with landladies of the Old Badger Inn in Eastington left Ellie Sainty and right Julie Gilbors

First published in News Stroud News and Journal: Photograph of the Author by , SNJ reporter for Stonehouse and Chalford. Twitter @ChrisWarneSNJ

FIVE friends will be among a bunch of charity cyclists taking part in this year's Cotswold Crunch challenge.

The group of men, who call themselves the Stanley Old Boys, will cycle 100 miles up lung-busting hills and down bone-chilling descents to raise money for the Cotswold Care Hospice next month.

They decided to enter the ride after recently completing another cycling challenge, in which they raised more than £3,000 for the hospice, by riding from Kingsholm Stadium to the Stade de France in Paris.

Neal Utting and Mark Rymell, both from Leonard Stanley, along with Andy Lazenby, who lives in Stonehouse and King's Stanley residents Will Pinker and Brian Channon decided to start raising money for the hospice after the charity supported one of their friends.

"We lost a dear friend from Kings Stanley, Dave Nicol, who sadly lost his battle against cancer in November last year," said Brian. "Dave used to attend day hospice once a week which gave him and his family a break so we wanted to give something back by doing some fundraising for it."

This year cyclists taking part in the Crunch, which is staged in aid of the hospice, will have the choice of a 50-mile or more gruelling 100 mile route.

The five friends, who are being sponsored by the Old Badger Inn at Eastington, have opted for the latter. For more information about the Crunch, which takes place on September 23 and costs £25, or to register visit www.cotswoldcare.org.uk or phone 01453 733701.

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