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Geraint Thomas raises £325,000 for NHS after 36 hours on the home trainer

Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos)
Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) rode for 36 hours over three days (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Geraint Thomas has raised £325,000 pounds, and counting, for the UK's National Health Service after riding his bike for 36 hours over the past three days. 

The Welshman embarked on three 12-hour rides, or 'shifts', on his home trainer to mirror the standard shift of the NHS healthcare workers who are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

Having started on Wednesday, Thomas finished the last of his shifts on Friday evening, by which point the amount raised stood just shy of £300,000. Since then, donations have continued to come in, and, on Saturday morning, the total was up to £326,000, more than triple his original target. 

The money is all going to NHS Charities Together, the collective body for the 140 NHS charities, at a time when the UK's publicly-funded healthcare system has been stretched to breaking point by the pandemic.

Thomas posted a social media message on Friday evening, along with a picture of himself with a beer and curry, saying: "Thank you everyone for your support and donations, they kept me going."

Thomas hasn't revealed the full statistics for his ride but said that he managed some 420 kilometres on the first day, meaning an average speed of 35km/h. Even if his speed dipped by the final day, when he was unable to remain seated for long periods, it is probable he rode more than 1000km over the 36 hours. 

"I'm just looking forward to a shower and maybe a bag peas down below," Thomas joked as he spoke to BBC at the end of his final shift. 

"The amazing thing has been raising so much money, it's insane. I thought £50,000 was a good target but someone in the  team thought we should aim for the stars and go for £100,000. To triple that is fantastic.

"A huge thanks to everyone who has joined me and donated, but the biggest thanks goes to everyone working for the NHS," Thomas added. "Their commitment and everything they're doing, it means so much to everyone, to the whole country."

A link to Thomas' fundraising page can be found here

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