July 1909 – Louis Blériot becomes the first person to cross the English Channel an aeroplane.

July 1959 – Squadron Leader Charles Maughan wins the Blériot Anniversary Air Race.

August 2019 – In celebration these achievements, a team of ambitious cyclists will pedal for charity from London to Paris.

To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Blériot Anniversary Air Race, a team of amateur cyclists will be embarking on a 241mile journey from Marble Arch to the Arc de Triomphe in under 41 hours. Setting off on the afternoon of Thursday 1st August, the group will ride to Newhaven to catch an overnight ferry to Dieppe. From here; a 90+ mile ride across Northern France, arriving in the outskirts of Paris on Friday afternoon/ evening. An early start on Saturday will see the team arriving at just before 8.15am on Saturday morning.

The schedule has been planned to the minute with a target time of 40 hours 44 minutes. Why? Because the winning RAF team in the Blériot Anniversary Race in 1959 was 40 minutes 44 seconds.

Alongside the timed group, a second team of riders will set out Thursday morning, taking a more leisurely route to Newhaven. The two teams will rendezvous in Dieppe and ride the remaining miles together through France and, finally, up the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe.

The team is delighted to be raising funds for the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund – the RAF’s leading welfare charity. The RAFBF provide financial, emotional and practical support to serving and former RAF members, their partners and dependents. Any member of the RAF family can approach the fund for help on a wide range of issues, including injury, disability, family difficulties, debt, illness and bereavement.

A personal link for some of the riders, the trip is being organised by Daniel and Simon Maughan, the grandsons of Air Vice Marshall Charles Maughan, who won the 1959 race. Charles Maughan’s son, David will also join the cyclists for the last leg, riding the final 20 miles to the Arc de Triomphe. The original 1959 trophy, currently being kept on display by both Charles Maughan’s son and daughter, will be waiting at Arc de Triomphe to greet the riders and support team.

Our ride will be entirely self-funded with all proceeds collected donated to the RAF Benevolent Fund. We would appreciate any offer of support, whether a donation to our charitable fund at the following page or the offer of supplies to aid our ride or even just support to send us on our way. Whilst by no means will this be a record-breaking ride, this will be a challenge for all taking part and a way for us to celebrate the life of Charles Maughan as well as the incredible achievements of all the 1959 Daily Mail Blériot Anniversary Race competitors.

With thanks to our wonderful supporters

We can be contacted at info@archtoarc.org