By David Gold

Sarah Storey_Deloitte_ride_Sept_16September 16 - The Deloitte Ride Across Britain (Deloitte RAB) has surpassed its fundraising target of £1 million ($1.6 million/€1.2 million) for the British Paralympic Association (BPA) a year ahead of schedule.

This year's challenge, which involved cycling almost 1,000 miles over nine days, was taken up by approximately 700 riders including hundreds of partners, staff and clients of Deloitte.

Starting at Land's End and finishing in John O'Groats, the annual ride takes in the length of Britain.

The event was launched in 2010 and raised £766,000 ($1.2 million/€946,000) for the BPA in its first two years.

Inspired by the outstanding performances from members of ParalympicsGB at London 2012, the fundraising total has exceeded the £1 million target.

Sarah Storey (pictured above, centre), who won four track and road cycling gold medals at this summer's Paralympics and now has 11 gold medals – the same as Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, joined riders for the Haydock to Penrith leg of their journey.

Storey, who completed the challenge in 2010 and 2011 as part of her training said: "Deloitte RAB has raised an incredible amount of money for the BPA which in turn has enabled the team to be better prepared than ever before.

"It has allowed ParalympicsGB to capitalise on the home Games, changing attitudes towards disability and encourage more people to get active."

The BPA will use the monies raised to fund preparations for their athletes ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics and the next Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Deloitte riders_day_5_Sept_16_Riders on day five of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain 

The BPA used previous Deloitte funding to help their athletes smash their medal target and claim a total of 120 podium finishes at the London 2012 Paralympics.

Heather Hancock, Deloitte's lead London 2012 partner said: "It is a great achievement to raise £1 million, but to raise it 12 months ahead of schedule is quite special.

"This demonstrates the passion shared by the Firm and its people in supporting the Paralympic stars of tomorrow."

BPA chief executive Tim Hollingsworth said: "The BPA would like to thank everyone who has supported us through their participation in the Deloitte Ride Across Britain over the past three years to help us reach this incredible milestone.

"The money raised has been vital on our journey to London 2012 and helped us to achieve our target of winning more medals across more sports while seeking positively to change perceptions of disability.

"We have seen a groundswell of support for Paralympic athletes and the money that continues to be raised by Deloitte RAB will help us to carry forward the momentum created by the home Games and ensure the athletes aiming for Sochi, Rio and beyond receive the same preparations as their London counterparts."

To take part in the 2013 race, which is due to take place from June 8 until 16, click here

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