Cyclists representing Stevenage FC have this afternoon set-off from The Lamex Stadium bound for Amsterdam as part of the Football League's London to Amsterdam Challenge.
Raising money for Prostate Cancer UK, over 100 riders from across the Football League will set off from Leyton Orient's Matchroom Stadium tomorrow morning.
The picturesque 150-mile challenge set out of London through rural English countryside on a 90 mile sojourn to Harwich. The intrepid team cross the Channel overnight, before riding a further 60 miles across the flat landscape of Dutch Zeeland. The climax sees the peloton arrive in the country’s capital and its network of canals, cobbled streets and wonderful architecture. There will be a chance to wind down and reflect on a notable effort, on Saturday night in the city centre before a less energy-sapping return to London, via Eurostar, after lunch the next day.
BBC 3 Counties radio and Boro Player commentator Steve Watkins and former Boro player Neil Trebble are among the Stevenage contingent and before setting off from The Lamex today, Steve told us, "Today we travel to Leyton and tomorrow morning we head out to Harwich. It’s 90 miles and it’s the hardest day as we climb out of London and work our way down to sea level.
"Our weather forecast says tomorrow will be the hottest day of the year with lightning, hail, thunder and torrential rain so it’s all happening! We don’t want it too hot but it is what it is. As some might say, you’ve got to play with what’s put in front of you!
"We had such a good time in last year's trip, both Neil and I wanted to do it again. I’m expecting the same pain without a doubt but I think the people you ride with really make it."
Joining the group at The Lamex today was Notts County fan Keith Stewart, who met Steve and Neil on last year’s trip and has cycled down from Nottingham.
Steve continued, “You get to meet some interesting people and big names on this trip. We met Keith last year who’s joined us today. He’s 170 miles into his journey and I’ve done just over a mile! It’s where friendships start. There was another Notts County lad who came last year who we’ll see in the first league fixture between the two sides.”
Sporting red Stevenage t-shirts – and sun cream for Steve’s head - the group then set off for London via Hertford, ahead of tomorrow’s departure. You can help them reach their group fundraising target of between £5K and £6K by visiting Steve's individual fundraising page here.
The group posing for photos...
...before setting off to London