Day 3… The final day… 103 miles to go…
The Rugby for Heroes elite cycling team, led by patron Mike Tindall, started the day in beautiful sunshine that continued all day. The wind was beneath their wings as they covered the first 25 miles at an average of 19mph. The countryside rolling past in all her glory, reminding us all of the greater purpose of the arduous ride – to commemorate our rugby fallen.
After a visit to Thiepval where the team were privileged to receive a presentation from Commonwealth War Graves Commission intern, Olivia Smith, they moved onto the Guards Cemetery. A special visit lay ahead for one of the team as Mike Tindall was shown the grave of his grandfather’s cousin, Harry Tindall, where a wreath was laid on behalf of Mike and the charity. Harry was laid to rest at just 20 years old. A humbling moment for the entire team.
The next leg took the team past the wonderfully well kept memorials of the Somme. A place where silence is a sweet lament of the fallen who gave their lives so that we could live ours today. The final stop was at 73 miles where the broken bikes and bodies were fixed, ready for the last push. The final hill was taken with gusto before the team dropped down into the beautiful city of Compiegne where they were met at the town hall by the mayor and plenty of other prominent town figures. Another wreath was laid at the town’s memorial.
An awe inspiring day with only 1 teddy lost, a brief visit to the jack wagon and 4 hours of massage completed!
To find out more about the Armistice 100 Bike Ride and other events Rugby for Heroes has planned to mark the Armistice Centenary, visit www.rugbyforheroes.org.uk
If you would like to donate, please go to www.rugbyforheroes.org.uk/donate