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Ride for #TeamARUK

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Meet #TeamARUK

Gina Cleere

Gina topped the Cycling Down Dementia distance leaderboard, completing an incredible 3,723 miles over the three months.

The Essex cyclist, who is one of the top female ultra-distance riders in the UK despite only taking up the sport in 2015, completed the 1,000-mile Epic challenge within the first month.

She was inspired to sign up for Cycling Down Dementia as her father, Michael, was diagnosed with dementia with Lewy bodies seven years ago and now lives in a care home.

Gina, who raised around £550, says cycling long distances has helped her cope with the stress of seeing her father’s decline with dementia.

She said: "I'm addicted to cycling, I absolutely love it. When I'm out on my bike my mind is clear and I don't have to think about the things that affect me, like my dad's dementia."

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Phil Talbot

Phil took on the Cycling Down Dementia challenge in honour of his father who inspired him to take up the sport.

The Bicester Millennium Cycling Club rider, who used the challenge for his winter training in preparation for the race season, was among the first 10 participants to complete the Epic 1,000-mile challenge and went on to clock up more than 2,000 miles. He raised £670.

The challenge and cause were particularly poignant for Phil as his dad, Peter, who died with Alzheimer's disease, introduced him to cycling as a teenager. His encouragement helped Phil reach a high level in the sport, including earning a place in the British junior squad.

He said: "I owe so much to my dad. We did everything together on our bikes. He took me across the country and into Europe and helped me become one of the top junior riders in the country."

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Bethan Watts

Bethan was the top fundraiser for Cycling Down Dementia, raising an incredible £2,312.

She was inspired to take on the Pioneer 300-mile challenge as her father, Peter, has Alzheimer’s disease.

After sharing her dad’s heartbreaking story on social media, she was amazed by the swell of support from people whose lives have been touched by the retired university lecturer.

Bethan, who lives in Hertfordshire, said: "My dad has been hugely influential and inspirational in my life, but clearly, as the response showed, he's been inspirational in other people’s lives too.

"Taking part in Cycling Down Dementia helped make me feel less helpless about what's happening to Dad. It made me feel like I could contribute in some way to preventing what's happening to him happening to others in future."

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Julianne Ferguson

Julianne, who lives in Jersey, completed the Pioneer challenge with regular 15 to 20-mile rides around the beautiful cycle routes on the Channel Island.

She was inspired to sign up for the challenge as her mum has vascular dementia.

She said: "It's very sad to see someone who was vibrant and capable suddenly relying on everybody else to do things for her."

Julianne, who raised £385, loved the Cycling Down Dementia challenge and even filmed one of her rides, posting the video on social media.

She said: "I loved doing Cycling Down Dementia as it gave me a real purpose, getting out to get the miles done. I joined the supporters' page on Facebook and that was brilliant, being able to post details of my rides and receiving lovely words of support from people all over the country."

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