The Nello is back and cyclists can’t wait

By Alan Quick   |   Editorial Manager/Photojournalist   |
Sunday 19th June 2022 6:34 am
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Cyclists during the last Nello at Morchard Road.
Cyclists during the last Nello at Morchard Road. (FORCE )

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ONE of Devon’s most iconic outdoor events is back this summer after a two-year break with cyclists all set to return to the roads around Crediton.

And the good news is, there’s still time to be a part of it.

The Nello bike ride - FORCE’s Cancer Charity’s biggest single fundraising event of the year – will take place on Sunday, June 26.

It’s sponsored by Bike Shed Crediton and supported by WF Chinn.

More than 850 cyclists are expected to gather on the start line at Topsham Rugby Club, ready to take on the personal challenge of riding 55 or 100 miles.

The riders arrive in the area via Morchard Road. They turn off the A377 at Barnstaple Cross and head to Shobrooke and Newton St Cyres via back lanes.

The majority of two-wheeled traffic will be passing through between midday and 3pm.

The event has been virtual for the past two years due to COVID – riders choosing when and where to ride.

But there is real excitement building towards the day when that special Nello atmosphere, generated by so many people getting together for a common cause, returns.

“The Nello is part of my life. I look forward to it every year and wouldn’t dream of missing it,” said event founder Marc Millon.

The Nello has raised more than £1.2 million for the charity since it was first staged in 2000.

This year’s event will generate funds to ensure FORCE can continue its mission to support anyone locally affected by cancer.

It is particularly important as the charity looks to maintain its vital services against the backdrop of a significant reduction in income due to COVID.

The ride is now in its 23rd year but it was actually 25 years ago that the late Nello Ghezzo and Marc Millon pedalled from Topsham to Venice to raise funds and awareness about the importance of funding cancer support.

Event organiser Sarah Daniels said: “We had to make The Nello virtual for the last two years but this year will be real and while FORCE has never been needed so much by our beneficiaries, we’ve also never needed you so much so that we can support those facing a cancer diagnosis in our area.

“The impact of the pandemic on cancer patients is well documented. Clinical services are under significant pressure. The psychological and emotional fallout from delayed treatment or late diagnosis as a result of Covid-19 is emerging and poses very real challenges. It means the demand for our services increases week on week.

“Money raised from The Nello can play a significant part in helping FORCE support people in our community.

“So please sign up today. Join the team on the start line and help raise awareness and funds for FORCE on Sunday June 26.”

For more information or to enter, go to: forcecancercharity.co.uk/events-calendar/the-nello-2022/ .

AND REMEMBER…

• Everyone is welcome.

• Any sort of bike is permitted. There is a growing trend in electric bikes and FORCE has no problem with Nello cyclists using one. It’s all about taking part.

• Spectators are welcome on the course and at Topsham Rugby Club to see off the cyclists and welcome them home.

ROUTE INFO

The 850 plus cyclists start at Topsham Rugby Club near Exeter and head to Tiverton via Poltimore, Killerton, joining the A396 at the Ruffwell Lodge.

At Tiverton Rugby Club the route splits.

100 mile cyclists:

Dulverton via Exebridge; up on to Exmoor via the B3223, through Simonsbath and onto South Molton.

There is then a stop at Quince Honey Farm in South Molton before heading to Morchard Road via the B3226.

55 mile cyclists:

Withleigh to Nomansland then on to Black Dog, Brownstone and Morchard Bishop.

All cyclists:

Cyclists meet at Morchard Road and head back to Exeter via Shobrooke, Efford and Shute (avoiding Crediton).

They join the A377 near Cowley Bridge and come back across Exeter to Topsham Rugby Club finish point (officially via Bonhay Road and the By-Pass on to Topsham Road).

The event starts at 8am and finishes by 6pm. The cyclists will be clear of the Exeter area by 9am at the latest and we would anticipate the cyclists being back in the area predominantly from noon until 4pm.

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