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Even tougher task for Tour des Branches cyclists

Isle of Man Bank's annual cycling Tour des Branches, where staff members and invited guests raise large sums of money for charity, takes place this year on Friday, May 24.

The cyclists cover a 100 mile route - starting and finishing at Royal Bank House in Douglas - which involves calling in at all the 12 RBS International, Isle of Man Bank and NatWest branches in the Island, and raising money by way of individual sponsorship.

Staff members can also benefit from the Group's Community Cashback scheme which rewards employees' efforts for local organisations.

When the Tour des Branches first took to the roads in 2008 there were just five cyclists. This year will see 50 people involved, split into three groups depending on cycling ability and experience.

Their departure times will be staggered from 7.15 am onwards and the intention is that all will meet up and converge on Royal Bank House at around 6pm.

One of the organisers, Matt Cory, explained: ‘This time we decided to make the event even more challenging for our experienced riders. They will take a slightly different route to the other two groups which will see them tackling some of the Island's major hills - such as the Sloc. The others will cover a flatter circuit.

‘Last year we raised around £5,500 and our intention is to try and equal that amount, or better it if at all possible. It's all about staff members and business clients having an enjoyable day out while, at the same time, raising money for charity. Our chosen beneficiaries this year are the Children's Centre and Bowel Cancer Isle of Man.’

As last year, RBS International's chief executive Adrian Gill will be travelling from Jersey to join the Tour des Branches. The name of the event derives from the Tour de France and the idea was to pay tribute to the stage-winning successes of local star Mark Cavendish.

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