Denise conquers the Pyrenees

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A Kent businesswoman has proved that she can literally ‘climb every mountain’ after completing a grueling team charity ride across the Pyrenees.

Denise Cousin, marketing manager for Rochester-based Ward Security, joined forces with a group of friends and colleagues to attempt the epic 370-mile challenge.

The ride was certainly not for the faint-hearted: starting in Toulouse, the five-day cycle took in some of the biggest climbs that the French mountain range had to offer, before finally finishing in Barcelona.

The team was riding in aid of four charities: Unicef, World Land Trust, British Red Cross and Age UK. So far, they have raised more than £32,000, and are well on the way to reaching the £35,000 target set.

Despite been a keen fitness fanatic, Denise says that even she wasn’t prepared for what the ride would throw at her. “I’d put in a lot of training, but it’s really difficult to train for the kind of climbs that usually make even Tour de France riders suffer. It was much harder than I could have ever anticipated, but I’m so pleased to have finished – and help raise so much for four truly deserving charities.”

Not only did Denise battle extreme fatigue but all manner of random grazes to hands, elbows, bent wheels and derailleurs, sunburn and windburn – with only some remarkable tan lines as evidence!

“The third day was extremely tough,” she says, “with more than 2,600m of climbing. But I grinned and bore it, and finally conquered those mountains. It was a truly rewarding experience, although I don’t think I will be in a hurry to step back on a bike!”

You can still sponsor Denise at

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