Fancy re-tracing a stage of the 2014 Tour de France and cycling through the beautiful Essex countryside for a great cause?

Essex & Herts Air Ambulance (EHAAT) is looking for cycling enthusiasts willing to help their local life-saving charity by taking part in one of this year’s most hotly-anticipated sporting events on Sunday 20th September. Starting and finishing in Hylands Park, Chelmsford, Vélo Essex will retrace part of the 2014 Tour de France Stage 3 route.

An anticipated 15,000 riders will take to the roads for the car-free cycling event on closed roads. Cyclists can choose between a 50-mile and a 100-mile route, riding alongside thousands of others through the picturesque Essex countryside.

As one of the event’s charity sponsors, EHAAT has secured a limited number of charity places which are on sale now for just £25 for the 50-mile event and £40 for the 100-miler. Anyone taking up one of the charity places needs to raise an additional £300 in sponsorship (£400 for the 100-mile event), enough to pay for nearly three hours fuel for one of EHAAT’s helicopters.

Emily Donnachie, Events Manager at EHAAT said: “We are really excited about our involvement with Vélo Essex, which will provide cyclists with an amazing opportunity to ride on traffic-free roads in one of the most picturesque parts of the country. We know that cyclists of all abilities will be keen to experience this very special event and raise money for a great cause at the same time.

“Even if you only have minimal experience as a cyclist there is plenty of time to get yourself and your bike ready to pedal for EHAAT. As a charity, we rely on the generous support of the people and businesses of both counties to keep our life-saving service operational.”

Sign up now for this unmissable cycling event a ehaat.org/events

If you prefer a Paso Doble to pedalling, the charity’s annual Strictly Air Ambulance fundraising event takes place at Five Lakes Resort, Maldon on 28th March. Six supporters, each paired with a local dancer teacher, will compete against each other. Pasha from BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, this year’s celebrity judge, will also be performing a Showdance with partner Chloe Hewitt. Tickets are available at ehaat.org