A TOTAL of £11,400 has been raised by the Wharfedale Ton 2018 cycling challenge for Marie Curie Bradford Hospice.

Two hundred and fifty amateur cyclists participated in the 100-mile ride from Ilkley to York and back again on June 15, with the fastest participants completing the course in less than six hours.

The charitable event has nearly doubled in size since its launch two years ago by Yorkshire law firm Gordons, Lloyds Bank and audit, tax and consulting firm RSM. In 2016, around 120 people took part in the Wharfedale Ton and raised £7,000 for long-standing charity partner Marie Curie. The following year 200 riders participated and generated £12,600 in donations.

Gordons partner and head of employment, Philip Paget, said: “This has been another excellent year for the Wharfedale Ton. I’m hugely grateful to the people who made generous donations to this great cause, the riders who took part, our corporate sponsors and local businesses who helped organise the event.

“The Marie Curie Cancer Care Hospice provides vital services for cancer sufferers and their families in Bradford, so we’re very happy to have raised over £31,000 in support of its important work since the event’s launch.

“When I decided three years ago to organise a charitable networking bike ride, I didn’t foresee it becoming the resounding success that it has. But after seeing the huge benefits to the charity from our growing community, more and more people want to get involved. At Gordons we pride ourselves on being more than simply expert lawyers, we like to make a difference too.”

The Marie Curie Hospice provides specialist care for people with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses, as well as offering individual and group sessions for patients and families. It houses a 16-bed inpatient unit and day service.

The Wharfedale Ton for 2018 took riders on a figure of eight route through scenic Yorkshire countryside, taking in Wharfedale to a lunch stop in York, and returning via Little Ouseburn, Wetherby and Sicklinghall back to Ilkley.

The challenge was once again supported with hospitality provided by Ilkley Rugby Club where the race started and finished and Lishman’s of Ilkley which provided pork pies en route.

It also attracted an endorsement from Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, who said: “The work of Marie Curie is invaluable so I’m delighted to be supporting this charity ride which will raise money to fund more nurses to help patients in Yorkshire.”