Bath Rugby Foundation’s annual international cycling challenge has been hailed a huge success.

The charity took 90 cyclists to Italy in June for three days in the saddle, which will see more than £50,000 raised for the charity.

Bath Rugby Foundation, is the charitable arm of Bath Rugby and works to empower vulnerable children and young people.

The Foundation uses the values of rugby to inspire young people to create a better future for themselves, focusing on improving Education, Employability and Inclusion.

David Trick, the Foundation’s Corporate Fundraising Manager and President of Bath Rugby, who organised the cycling event, said: “The Giro di Toscana was a fantastic event. At the end of the ride, you realise you’ve not only completed the challenge, but you’ve shared something special with a group of individuals and creating countless lasting memories.

“As groups arrived back to base phrases like, ‘that’s the best day of cycling I’ve ever had’ and ‘I’ve just had the most perfect day,’ were being thrown around with abandon.

“It’s looking as though the £50,000 barrier for fundraising from the event will be broken in the next few days which will greatly assist the Foundation in continuing to run and develop its award-winning programmes.”

Rather than cycling 80 or 50 miles, unpacking, sleeping and then packing again, this year the group of cyclists – which included Bath Rugby Director of Rugby Todd Blackadder as well as a number of former Bath Rugby players – stayed in the same place and took on three different loops starting and ending at internationally renowned triathlete resort, Poggio all’Angello.

David Trick said Todd Blackadder was a fantastic addition to the cycling party. He appeared to have time to speak to virtually everyone and definitely won over a lot of new fans during the course of the event.

For the second year in a row the event was sponsored by Bath-based firm, the Flying Pig Renovation Company.

Kye Paradise, of the Flying Pig Renovation Company, was among the riders taking part. He said: “The Giro di Toscana raised the bar yet again and excelled in all areas for riders of all abilities.

"The fantastic dedication and hard work from all the foundation team paid off and produced a considerable amount of money which will change lives in the local community.

"I’m really proud to be part of this journey not only from a business point of view but also as a personal achievement. We can’t wait to see what the next challenge brings!”

Previous fundraising cycle rides organised by Bath Rugby Foundation have seen riders pedal across Ireland, throughout the Normandy countryside and from John O’Groats to Land’s End.

Members of Bath Rugby Foundation’s events team are already in the early stages of planning next year’s fundraising bike ride, with Mallorca the destination in September 2019. For further details email [email protected]