The Tour de Yorkshire 2018 was the fourth event of its kind, held between 3rd-6th May. As the official charity partner of the event, Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) kindly offered a spot on the cycling team to us here at BIU Group.

The Yorkshire Air Ambulance are a fantastic charity, providing life-saving, rapid response emergency services 365 days a year to the people of Yorkshire. Within minutes their two helicopters can be in attendance to those in their critical hour of need when every second counts. As it costs a staggering £12,000 per day to run the YAA – every penny donated makes a difference, and as they receive no funding from the government or National Lottery, these donations are gratefully received.

At BIU Group, we have worked proudly in partnership with the YAA since 2005, raising an estimated £2,700,000 in donations. The cycling event, therefore, was a perfect way to raise awareness for the charity and ensure that we did our bit to keep the Yorkshire Air Ambulance at the front of everyone’s minds. Our very own Charity Administrator Martin has joined the YAA cycling team for the day and here’s his report of the events:

I competed in the final stage, a 49km cycle that started and finished in the city of Leeds running through Woodhouse, Meanwood, Dunkeswick, North Rigton, Leathley, Pool in Wharfedale, Arthington, Kirkstall and Burley in a scorching 22° heat. The race itself, as expected, was a challenge but the experience proved to be well worth the effort. The route included three climbs. The first of which was a 42m ascent up Church Lane immediately from the start line - a rather harsh way to kickstart a Sunday! The second took us up Rigton Hill, a 96m climb across the A658 with an average time for completion of six minutes. Finally, upon entry to Arthington, Black Hill Road loomed over us with its 110m height gain coming rather harshly at a 20% gradient, a real test after the miles we’d already put in.

What goes up must come down though and, after the gruelling climb to the top, we were rewarded with a rapid downhill descent into the city of Leeds where the finish line (and some much-needed refreshments!) were waiting. It felt like a great achievement to complete the course, especially considering that it was on behalf of the YAA and the amazing work that they do. The people of Leeds were lined along the streets for the best part of the residential routes which was a fantastic adrenaline rush with tired legs in tow. I would like to thank the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and BIU Group for the opportunity to take part in the Tour de Yorkshire and hope that as a result, the Yorkshire Air Ambulance maintains its incredible level of support and continues its life-saving work.

More information, including pictures from the event can be found at @biu_group and @YorkshireAirAmb #YAA #TDY