Join the 25th annual Nello cycle challenge and celebrate Italian style

Tiverton will again be welcoming more than a thousand cyclists at the end of June as people from across the region and beyond gear up to take part in one of the most popular charity cycle rides of the year.

The Nello is always a special date on FORCE Cancer Charity’s events calendar but the 2024 ride is even more significant.

This year is the 25th annual Nello and the charity is pulling out all the stops.

The big day is Sunday June 30 when it is hoped that up to 1,200 cyclists and their supporters will gather to be a part of the occasion.

Cyclists tackle 100 or 60 mile routes with their first refreshment stop at Tiverton Rugby Club. The longer route takes riders op on to Exmoor while the shorter course heads up Long Drag, through Withleigh, Nomansland, Black Dog, Brownstone and Morchard Bishop where the two groups converge.

To honour its heritage – the ride was named in memory of Topsham restaurateur Nello Ghezzo from Milan – FORCE is planning an Italian Festival.

As usual, The Nello will start and finish at Topsham Rugby Club and the Bike Shed crew will be on hand throughout the day to provide support.

Cyclists will get breakfast courtesy of the Red Lion at Broadclyst and plenty of authentic Italian coffee from Rocket Espresso before they set off to ride 60 or 100 miles with plenty of delicious food stops along the way.

The finish back at the rugby club will feature a celebration of all things Nello with Italian-themed food and drink, music from local covers band The Dockneys and the draw for a fantastic £4,500 bike, donated by event sponsors, Pinarello UK.

Exeter Physio will be offering post-ride massage treatments and injury assessments and Muscle Mechanics will be handing out free pain relief muscle balm.

There’ll also be a bouncy castle for children and a specially designed balance bike track for Nello cyclists of the future!

“We’re hoping that our cyclists, their friends and families and local people will join together to enjoy what promises to be a fantastic day,” said FORCE Events Fundraiser Chloe Richardson.

Since the first Nello Century Cycle Challenge in 2000, the ride has raised nearly £1.3m for FORCE.

It has grown from attracting a field of 90 cyclists in that first year to regularly nearing capacity.

Event founder Marc Millon is excited about The Nello reaching such a significant milestone.

“This ride began out of friendship and memories and those friendships and memories are still continuing today,” said Marc.

“All are welcome to join in. In fact, we urge everybody who has ever thought about riding to make this the year that you do it. Both routes are possible for anybody with a little bit of fitness and, above all, the desire and will to ride.

“These rides are there to be enjoyed, riding with friends. They’re rides to remember, they’re rides to remember people that may no longer be with us, they’re rides that are based on friendship and camaraderie.

“So whatever your age, whatever your bike, I urge you to register now and make this year the year you ride The Nello.”

FORCE has set itself a target of raising £120,000 from The Nello, an amount that would underpin the work the charity does across Devon to support local people dealing with a cancer diagnosis.

It could mean hundreds more counselling appointments or complementary therapy sessions, additional support groups, more wig-fitting sessions, extra physio and exercise guidance, increased services at our outreach locations in Ottery St Mary, Okehampton and Tiverton.

If you’d like to add your support to The Nello but don’t know anyone taking part that you can sponsor, just go to the general event page – – and make your donation.

“You’ll not only have our gratitude but the warm glow of knowing you’re making a difference to the lives of so many people when their world has been turned upside down by a cancer diagnosis,” said Mrs Richardson.

There’s still time to sign up. To secure your place, go to