In Denmark, 158 cyclists spent a year training and fundraising. Their goal was to raise money for MS research by cycling the mountains of the Tour de France 2015, just three weeks before the professional riders set off.
People with MS, carers, ambassadors and sponsors all took part in the challenge, arranged by the Danish MS Society.
Sweat pours into their eyes, which are concentrated and almost closed through exhaustion. As the finish line is crossed, their faces change into big, proud smiles. It’s right here, on top of Alpe d’Huez, that the bicycle event “Cykelnerven” 2015 ends.
A focus on progression
The event, arranged by the MS Society in Denmark, saw 158 riders battle through 359 kilometers of steep hairpin bends and narrow mountain roads – reaching mountain tops so high that only rocks and snow are in sight. ”Cykelnerven” is Denmark’s toughest charity bike race, and now, on top of Alpe d’Huez, the champagne is finally allowed to flow.
When the last rider crosses the finish line, the mood is jubilant.
“It is said that men do not cry, but I have defeated the legendary Tour de France mountains Col de la Madeleine, Col du Galibier and Alpe d’Huez,” says 57-year-old Asger Christensen with a large smile on his face and shiny eyes.
Other riders are crying with him. Each of them has fought the same battle on the same mountain – and has worked hard for a year to obtain sponsorships and raise money for research in multiple sclerosis.
“My sister has lived with multiple sclerosis for 15 years. We climbed the Col de la Madeleine on her birthday, so it was a very special day for me. I am glad that I can help to support research in the disease,” says Mogens Vestergaard.
“This is one of the greatest personal victories in my life. I have not only overcome myself when it was hardest. It is also a victory to know that I have worked hard to support research in MS.” Says the Danish singer and now cyclist Stig Rossen.
300,000 euros raised
There is reason to celebrate the victory on top of Alpe d’Huez. The 158 participants of the event 2015 have raised more than 300,000 euros.
“It was a very moving moment when the riders crossed the finish line at Alpe d’Huez. We all celebrated the great efforts on the bikes in the Alps, but also we celebrated the riders’ fantastic work raising money for research in MS.” Says Ann Leistiko, Marketing Manager for Multiple Sclerosis Society Denmark.
Read more about the bicycle charity event 2015: www.cykelnerven.dk.