CHARITY riders limbering up for the 400km Paris Challenge met at BCA Blackbushe earlier this week for a final training session – and a chance to check out a rather special auction lot.
They took the opportunity to pose with legendary racing cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins’ coachbuilt Sporthome before setting off on a 50km ride around the nearby Surrey and Hampshire countryside. The Sporthome is being offered for sale at BCA Blackbushe on 21 September.
The BCA Paris Challenge leaves the Blackbushe centre at 8am on Thursday, 14 September. Around 45 riders will take the Paris Challenge in total, along with support crew and vehicles.
The event aims to raise funds and awareness for Action for A-T, a charity which funds medical research to speed up the process of identifying a cure for Ataxia Telangiectasia, a rare, genetic degenerative disease of childhood.
The aim is to raise £30,000 to fund research into treating A-T and the team of participating riders features cyclists from BCA and the wider motor industry. The 400km challenge will leave BCA Blackbushe – the UK’s largest auction centre – in September and will finish in Paris, where BCA operates one of eight French remarketing centres.
The charity has invested more than £1,700,000 in a variety of A-T related research projects around the world. A-T affects multiple systems of the human body, and health progressively deteriorates causing an overall loss of coordination and muscle control. Children are usually confined to a wheelchair by around the age of 10 and will need assistance with everyday tasks.
To donate visit: justgiving.com/actionforAT
The Wiggins Sporthome was an appropriate link to the riders’ epic challenge as it was in Paris that Bradley Wiggins became the first British winner of the Tour de France back in 2012 – with Chris Froome following that with four victories.
The coachbuilt Sporthome by McLaren is based on a long-wheelbase Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 316 2.1 with manual transmission. It was commissioned by Sir Bradley in 2014 and while finished in white, has been vinyl wrapped in Team Wiggins colours of blue with chromed wing mirrors and bull bar and 8-spoke alloy wheels. It has covered just 5,500 miles.
The Sporthome features bespoke red, white and blue leather seating with ‘Wiggo’ detail on the headrests. The custom GB-inspired interior includes a double bed, combined shower/toilet, integrated kitchen area with fridge, cooker and wash basin, overhead lockers and a storage area/repair bay for cycles.
There is a seating area with two swivel seats and fold down table and five television screens (two with Sky). The driver’s area has two leather seats and a custom GB dashboard with integrated Kenwood satellite navigation and CD unit. The vehicle is fitted with privacy blinds throughout for overnight stays and there is air conditioning throughout.
The Sporthome has five doors, including a sliding side door and barn doors to access the storage and workshop area. It is fitted with two roof windows and a pull-out awning for camping and overnight stays.