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A TEAM of JCB cyclists today crossed the finish line of an epic charity fundraising effort to ride around the world in 80 days - four days early.


The 42-strong group began the 42,000-kilometre challenge last month to raise money for Hannah’s Hope charity, a fundraiser set up by JCB welding apprentice Hannah Roberts, 20, who was diagnosed with brain cancer just months after joining the company.


The aim was to complete the ride on Tuesday, April 30th - Hannah’s 21st birthday - but the team put so much pedal power into the initiative, that they finished four days early, completing the last 500 kilometres today at JCB’s World HQ in Rocester. So far, the challenge has raised around £34,000 for Hannah’s Hope charity.


And there to join them in a sprint to the finish was 1500 metre Olympic Gold Medallist Lord Coe,  who congratulated the team on their efforts.  Lord Coe said: “This has been a tremendous effort by everyone involved and for such a wonderful cause. It just shows what can be achieved through teamwork.”


Hannah was given just 15 months to live in September 2022 when she was diagnosed with glioblastoma. Although she has undergone surgery to remove the cancer, followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy, a trait of the condition means it keeps re-growing. With the support of JCB, her family has already reached a £250,000 fundraising target for treatment in the USA when she needs it.


Now, Hannah is aiming to raise £200,000 to buy and equip a luxury holiday lodge just five minutes from her home at Mercia Marina, in Willington, Derbyshire. The lodge will be offered free of charge to families of teenagers and young adults who are under the care of the Teenage Cancer Trust to spend valuable time together.


Hannah and mum Gail Iredale visited the JCB World Headquarters at Rocester on Friday to watch the conclusion of the JCB Around the World in 80 Days cycle challenge. Gail said: “We are so overwhelmed by what the JCB cyclists have done for Hannah’s Hope and their efforts have given the appeal a tremendous shot in the arm. We really are truly grateful.”


JCB Principal Engineer Aaron Turner, event organiser and a founding member of the JCB Cycling Club, said: “It’s been a tough challenge and we are delighted to have completed it earlier than anticipated and give Hannah an earlier than expected 21stbirthday. I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us along the way, and most importantly, to everyone who has donated money to the appeal. It really will make a big difference to the lives of children and young people with cancer.”


Over the ten-week challenge the cyclists clocked up the miles with individual road rides and group outings, including a route to Mercia Marina, where Hannah’s lodge will be sited. The total was also topped during spinning classes at the JCB World Headquarters each Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.


Anyone wishing to sponsor the JCB cyclists can donate through the JCB Around the World in 80 Days JustGiving page:


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