Banks Group cycling team’s wheely good fundraising effort for Marie Curie Cancer Care

October 22, 2012 | Browney Lane News

A team of cyclists from north east property and energy firm The Banks Group has overcome the north east’s newest physical challenge to raise over £1,000 for Marie Curie Cancer Care. 

The 16-strong team competed in the inaugural Etape Pennines, riding a tough 78-mile course through Derwentside, Weardale and Teesdale with a total ascent of over 5,400ft. 

All the members of the team, which comprised seven Banks staff members and nine invited customers, contractors and business contacts, completed the course in between 6.5 and 7.5 hours. 

There was also individual success on the day, with team member Craig Stephenson of MWH Global in Newcastle recording the fastest time in the overall Sprint completion, and Rob Ormrod, estates manager with Banks’ renewables team, taking the King Of The Mountains title after sprinting up the 1.5mile Harthope Moss climb in the quickest time of the day. 

More than 2,500 riders took part in the Etape Pennines, which was England’s first mass participation closed road cycling event, and which started and finished at Ushaw College near Durham – and the Banks team is already making plans for future events. 

Rob Ormrod says: “The Banks team had a wide range of abilities, from regular cyclists to those who had barely been on a bike in years, but we made a decision to stick together as much as we could to help everyone get round and we all managed to get over the finishing line in pretty respectable times. 

“With a 630am start and a lot of big hills to overcome, it was tough going in parts, but everyone really enjoyed the day, and raising such a terrific sum along the way for Marie Curie Cancer Care, the main charity partner for the event, is a real bonus. 

“The feedback we’ve had from all the members of the team has been fantastic, and we’re sure we’ll be saddling up again together for future events.” 

Anyone wanting to make a donation to the fundraising campaign can still do so by visiting

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