HEADTEACHER Alison Hooper praised the ‘great spirit’ among the cyclists who completed major challenges on Sunday.

A total of 135 men and women took part in the third Cheshire Cycling Sportive in aid of the Egerton Schools’ Foundation.

The foundation was created in 2006 to maintain and strengthen the links between Egerton Primary School in Knutsford and Egerton School in Njoro in Kenya.

Key aims include developing an enriched global curriculum, improving the infrastructure at the Kenyan school and increasing the impact of the partnership within the communities in both countries.

The annual cycling event is organised by Dan Boardman from Knutsford, who has two children at Egerton Primary School in the town.

The first year attracted 86 cyclists for the 65-mile challenge, which increased to 126 last year for the 65-mile route and a shorter 30-mile course.

This year’s sportive again featured the 65 and 30-miles routes, with the vast majority of cyclists taking on the longer course.

The event is a major attraction because of the challenge posed by the 65-mile Le Route, a spectacular course taking in Windgather Rocks, the Goyt Valley, the Cat and Fiddle, Blaze, Swiss and Wizard hills.

The route totals 5,500 feet of ascent, and includes similar roads as used on the third stage of the Tour of Britain 2016, which finished in Tatton Park last year, and across training roads used by the British Cycling Team.

This year’s sportive is expected to have raised about £1,000, and parents who took part are to receive certificates on Friday at a celebration assembly from headteacher Alison Hooper, who completed the 30-mile challenge, which takes in Peover, Goostrey and Marthall.

“It was a great event, the weather was fine and the roads on the 30-mile route are beautiful,” said Alison.

“I enjoyed the camaraderie and the chat between people about cycling and the foundation, and the fact that it brings people together for a really good cause.

“There was a great spirit this year, stronger than in previous years because people know what it’s all about.

“It’s not just a very well-organised event but is also contributing to something of huge value in making links between Knutsford and Kenya.”

Egerton Primary School in Knutsford was established by Lord Wilbraham Egerton of the Tatton Estate in 1893, and his nephew Maurice Egerton founded the link school in Kenya in 1939.