First, there was one CTC Challenge ride. Now, there are six. All raise funds for the CTC's Cyclists’ Defence Fund. The first ride was - and is - Phil & Friends and takes place in the Peak District, with the active participation of CTC president and TV commentator Phil Liggett. The newest Challenge ride also has a TV commentator theme: The David Duffield Challenge will kick off the series in May.

Trike’s optional

The 2003 Challenge Rides raised over £7500 for the Cyclists’ Defence Fund and CTC’s campaigning work.

CTC honorary member and Eurosport commentator, David Duffield, has put his name to a new Challenge Ride event based in the Bath area which will open the series on 2nd May 2004. The David Duffield Challenge will offer the customary 100km and 150km routes, as well as a 30km route for families and those new to cycling.

The next two events on the Challenge Series calendar are also new for 2004 and will take place in the West Midlands on 22nd May. The Heart of England Challenge takes in the Vale of Evesham and the Cotswolds, and dovetails with the Heart of England Rally which is taking place the same weekend. The Heart of England Off-Road Challenge will offer a muddy alternative route across Warwickshire.

The remaining three events for the year are the well-established Ron Kitching Challenge, which will take place on 26th June in North Yorkshire, the Phil and Friends Challenge which takes in the Peak District on 1st August and the Southern Challenge Ride which uses part of the Tour en Angleterre route in the Sussex Hills on 12th September.

Challenge Ride co-ordinator, Matt Mallinder, said: “The Challenge Rides are a great way of testing yourself in some spectacular surroundings whilst raising funds for safer cycling. We’ve already seen that the Cyclists’ Defence Fund is working with insurance companies withdrawing and re-considering cases because they see that cyclists have the resources to fight test cases."

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