In July 2014, three Howdens' employees joined the Marie Curie Power Peloton to cycle stage 1 of the Tour de France route in Yorkshire, crossing the finish line just a few hours ahead of the professional teams...
Marie Curie Cancer Care provides care and support for people living with terminal illness. It was chosen as the first official charity partner for the 'Grand Depart' - the world's largest annual sporting event - and its elite Power Peloton included 14 riders in total.
The Howdens trio were all from the supply division, based in Howden: Adrian Heaton, kitchen product development manager; Tad Adamson, continuous improvement engineer; and Paul Ralph, group leader, panel production. All keen cyclists, they saw this as a great opportunity - in Paul's words, "a once in a lifetime chance to ride the route the same day as the best in the world in our home country, while supporting a great cause."
Setting off at 4am from Harewood House near Leeds, they completed 190.5 kilometres in nine hours, crossing the finish line in Harrogate at around 1.30pm. Howdens sponsored each rider to the tune of £19,000, meeting the cost of three Marie Curie nurses for one year. These nurses will display the riders' names and Howdens logo on their uniforms for 365 days, in recognition of Adrian, Tad and Paul's commitment and the company's support.
Of course, the riders got a lot from the day too. As Adrian said, "I've been looking forward to the tour coming to Yorkshire since it was announced, and being part of the Peloton just makes it even more special." Tad agreed: "It's like the world cup of cycling."