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Ben Thames Waterbike challenge trio 'fired up and raring to go' (video)

Thames waterbike challenge

There’s just one month to go until automotive industry leaders from Volvo, Allianz Partners and 1 Automotive take part in Thames Waterbike Ride for Ben.

Jon Wakefield, until recently managing director of Volvo Car UK, now heading up the firm’s Swedish national sales company; Tim Tozer, chief executive of Allianz Partners UK & Ireland and Darren Guiver, managing director of Group 1 Automotive, have been training since April to get ready for the challenge of their lives.

The trio will be tackling over 10 hours of cycling each day, including on self-propelled Schiller waterbikes, from July 4 to 7.

So far, over £142,000 has been raised through the challenge, for Ben to support automotive industry colleagues going through tough times.

This amount is growing all the time and Jon, Tim and Darren are on track and determined to reach the fundraising target of £300,000.

Wakefield said: “Training has been a real eye opener – you’d be surprised how much harder it is to cycle on water than land. That said, we’re really looking forward to riding the river for Ben. After all, the work the charity does for those in our industry is invaluable.

"Thank you to our kind supporters: your donations have been really generous. For those who haven’t yet donated, there’s still time – we really appreciate your support.”

Guiver said: “I’m feeling both excited and daunted at the same time. There’s not long to go now so we’re ramping up the training and getting prepared. If you do one thing today, please donate to this worthy cause. Thanks to everyone who has donated already, it’s so appreciated. By supporting Ben, you’re supporting your own.”

Tozer said: “We can’t wait to get going now – training has us fired up and raring to go. If you haven’t been checking out our progress so far, we hope you’ll be following our journey when the time comes.

"In the meantime, we’d like to say a heartfelt thanks to all who have donated so far, your support has been a huge motivator. We still have some way to go to meet our target so any future donations will be hugely appreciated. Your money will really make a difference to your colleagues in the industry.”

Ben’s business development director, Matt Wigginton, said: “Not long to go now until the epic waterbike ride begins – and we can’t wait to follow the guys on their journey.

"We will be watching on in awe as they peddle upstream and tackle over 10 hours a day for four days.

“We’re truly grateful to everyone who has donated so far – we can’t thank you enough.

"Please help Jon, Tim and Darren reach their target and smash last year’s ILC result. 

"Cycling on water, on one of the busiest rivers in England is no small undertaking, so please give generously.

“We wish Tim, Jon and Darren all the best on their journey and want to thank them for supporting us, and the people of our industry, in such an epic way.”

This challenge, starting at Thames Head in Gloucestershire, ending in London, will be an incredible test of physical and mental endurance, as well as stamina, from start to finish.

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