My day following the Tour de ITV

by Ben Wicks Senior PR and Media Manager


Some of the celebrities who took the challenge: Jamie Shelton, Jimmy Constable, Nicola Wheeler, Darren Jeffries, Matt Litter and James Hooton.
Some of the celebrities who took the challenge: Jamie Shelton, Jimmy Constable, Nicola Wheeler, Darren Jeffries, Matt Litter and James Hooton.

Yesterday saw a host of famous faces take to their bikes for the Tour de ITV, a cycling challenge which began on the cobbles of Corrie and finished outside the Emmerdale local, the Woolpack. I was honoured to be involved in the event, as part of the cavalcade of vehicles following the celebrity and support riders. It was an early start, with my alarm going off at 5am. I drove over to the ITV Studios at Media City, Salford, in one of our fantastic Marie Curie Mobiles, one of two bright yellow Land Rover Freelanders kindly donated to us by Ripon Land Rover. I arrived at 7.30am and was shown into the ITV café where most of the riders were waiting for the day to start. After a few introductions we were taken down to the set of the Rovers, before heading out on to the cobbles. Now I don’t claim to be a soap fan, but there was something pretty special about standing on one the most iconic streets on TV. Our nurses and fundraisers soon arrived and were interviewed by the local media, as well as posing for photos with some of the cast of Corrie who had come down to wave the riders off. After around 45 minutes of interviews and posing for photos, it was time for the ride to begin. There were six stops along the way, which gave all of the riders a well-earned rest from cycling. At each stop they were welcomed by a host of Join In volunteers as well as Marie Curie volunteers and staff members. The ride wasn’t easy, with some really tough climbs along the way, but all riders took them in their stride and the resilience shown was really inspiring. I even found myself wishing I’d volunteered to take part. Harden Primary School’s welcome was extremely inspiring, with all of the pupils and teachers lining the streets and playground to give an absolutely fantastic cheer when the riders arrived. Leaving the riders at the end of the day left me with a real sense of pride for the feat which they had achieved. Laura Tobin, Good Morning Britain’s Weather Presenter, had until a week ago never sat on a road bike before. She proved that dedication allows people to do amazing things, and all for a great cause. To all the riders who took part, both celebrity and volunteers, I think you should all wake up today with a real sense of achievement no matter how sore you are! See how all the action unfolded during this fantastic event.