Cyclists raise more than £80,000 for charity

The cyclists at the finish line
The cyclists at the finish line

THE father of a girl with a rare condition, together with 20 of his friends, are celebrating after raising more than £80,000 for research into his daughter’s illness.

Luca Venditto, owner of The Italian Way, and his fellow cyclists pedalled almost 1,500 miles from Portsmouth (Pompey) to Pompeii in aid of the Association for Glycogen Storage Disease UK (AGSD-UK).

His 10-year-old daughter Jodie suffers from the condition, which causes perilous hypoglycaemic attacks, muscle pains and wasting. Glycogen is a form of glucose, which the body needs for energy and the disease damages muscles and nerve cells.

Mr Venditto and the test of the team held a celebration recently following their return to Hastings last month.

The trek took three weeks to reach Pompeii in southern Italy.

Laurence Bell, one of the riders, and the owner of the White Rock Hotel, said: “The ride was amazing and incredibly hard but also a real life changing experience, it is moreover great that between us we have raised more than £80,000 for a really worthwhile charity that will make a real difference to people and families of those who suffer from this disease.

“We all had a great time and had the opportunity to say a big thank you to some of the numerous business sponsors that enabled us to raise such a sum.”

Hastings MP Amber Rudd, who joined in the celebrations, said: “This was a very demanding challenge and I congratulate all of the riders for taking it on.

“They all did tremendously well and I was very impressed with their commitment and team spirit, which I am sure helped them along the way.”