“Bienvenue en Rivesaltes”!

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A WARM welcome was extended to a French Connection cycling duo on their completion of a 1,000-mile trip to Clitheroe’s twin town Rivesaltes in memory of two much loved late members.

Roger Hargreaves (63) and Peter Parkes, who celebrated his 60th birthday during the trip, reached Le Bacarès, which is on the French coast around 10 miles from Rivesaltes, last Wednesday.

There they waited for the arrival of the 25-strong party of fellow French Connection members who were arriving in Rivesaltes on Good Friday, before together with several of their French exchange friends, cycling into Rivesaltes on Good Friday to rapturous applause.

The duo decided to make the trip to raise funds for the French Connection Memorial Fund, which has been set up in memory of Roger’s late wife Catherine, and member Pete Carter, following their deaths in December. Both Cath, who was one of the French Connection’s founder members, and Pete, were active and much-loved members of the group.

They set off from Clitheroe on Tuesday, April 5th, before cycling down to Portsmouth and catching the ferry to Caen in Normandy.

Highlights of the duo’s expedition have included travelling through Wootton Bassett, which became Royal Wootton Bassett in March after it was granted Royal patronage by HM Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of the its role in 21st century military funeral repatriations which pass through the town.

Cycling through the town resonated with the duo who plan to donate any money raised from the cycle challenge to, amongst others, Ribble Valley soldier Sgt Rick Clement, of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, who suffered horrific injuries while on patrol in Afghanistan last May.

The expedition has already raised thousands with the final total also being shared between the North West Air Ambulance, Crossroads Care and Riding for the Disabled.

Anyone who would still like to support the cycling duo and make a donation can call Roger on 07970 648514.