By Tom Degun at the Main Press Centre on the Olympic Park in London

Tirol Cycle_Team_9_AugustAugust 10 - The 20-strong Tirol Cycle Team that rode 1,300 kilometres from Innsbruck to London in eight days has raised £15,634 ($24,453/€19,847) for Disability Snowsport UK (DSUK).

The ride began last month, on July 21, at the Bergisel stadium in the Austrian city with the cyclists joined on the first stage of their journey by Heather Mills (pictured below), the former wife of famed musician Sir Paul McCartney, who hopes to represent Britain in skiing at the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics.

The marathon ride featured eight stages through Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium before the cyclists took a ferry to Ramsgate in England in order to continue on London.

The final 90-mile leg from the Kent resort to Tower Bridge (pictured top) took place on July 26 with the iconic location selected as the most suitable finish point due to its close proximity to Trinity House, which doubles as Austria House Tirol during the Olympics.

The ride had symbolic significance as Innsbruck was the first city to host the Winter Olympics three times, with the inaugural Youth Olympics in January this year following the senior Games in 1964 and 1976; London is now the first location to host the Summer Olympics on three occasions having previously staged it in 1908 and 1948.

Heather Mills_9_August
Fiona Young, the chief executive of DSUK, praised the riders for their generous contribution upon picking up the sponsorship cheque at Austria House Tirol.

"We came here not knowing how much money the Tirol Cycle Team had raised and this has exceeded our expectations," she said.

"It means so much to the charity to have such strong backing from Tirol and top sports personalities who have really embraced what we are trying to achieve.

"DSUK provide access to snow sports from grassroots right up to the elite and Paralympic team, and it's superb to gain recognition for what we do."

The money raised will go towards training more adaptive ski instructors, equipment, increase the number of overseas trips and expand ski schools at indoor snow centres.

In the UK there are about a million non-disabled people who ski overseas each year.

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