Rees rides to dream finish at the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100
The Herne Hill Velodrome Trust presents…
A desire to raise money for charity drove Ian Rees to be first across the line at the end of the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 this morning, completing a journey of recovery for the 43-year-old Bristol-based diabetic who was inspired by watching last year’s event.
Twelve months ago the former pro stood leaning on his crutches beside The Mall watching the first ever Prudential RideLondon sportive and promised himself that he would lead the mass riders under the finish gantry in 2014 to raise money and the profile of diabetes research.
After 86 of the hardest rain-drenched miles he’s ever ridden, Rees achieved his dream with the aid of his Bristol Dymag TID clubmates Paul Merryweather and Matthew Franklin, and believes his Herculean efforts will bring in some much-needed funds for the diabetes charity JDRF.
“I couldn’t do it last year because I broke my leg, but I watched it with people from the charity and told them that I would be first across the line this year to raise their profile,” said Rees, his mud-splattered face breaking into a smile of pure relief.
“Here I am a year on, and I did it. I can’t believe it. That was the hardest ride I’ve had since I was a pro in France in the 1990s.”
Rees, who’s never done a sportive before, set up the Dymag club with Merryweather to raise money for diabetes research two years ago after being forced to abandon his pro cycling career when he was diagnosed with the condition.
“This is what we really wanted to do,” said Merryweather, who followed Rees safely across the line at the head of a 60-strong bunch of early-finishing sportive riders.”
“I helped Ian set up the team two years ago so this was all about getting him home first and giving JDRF some profile. So it’s mission accomplished; it’s all quite inspirational.”
The group had a plan to stay near the front of the pack, avoiding as far as possible any problems caused by the adverse weather, and were full of praise for the organisers’ decision to shorten the 100-mile route by 14 miles, cutting out the potentially treacherous climbs up and down Box Hill and Leith Hill.
“We worked so well as a team,”
said Rees. “The rain and the speed we were going at the front made it so hard.”
“But it was such a good decision to cut out the hills. I hit a cat’s eye at one point and nearly came off, and there were a few crashes, so I’m really glad they took the hills out because coming down Box Hill or Leith Hill would’ve been deadly.”
“RideLondon have done an absolutely brilliant job. The organisation is as good as a pro race on the continent. I was so impressed, they should do these all over the country. I will do it again next year, definitely.”
Nicola Roberts and Bella Leach were impressed too. The two London friends rode the route together and crossed the line side-by-side, the first women to complete the sportive.
“It was wet but it was great fun,” said Roberts, a member of the Dulwich Paragon club. “It wasn’t too windy so you could still ride. Everyone was just getting on with it really and smiling and chatting.”
“Some of the corners and descents were quite sketchy but people were very considerate, slowing down and talking to each other.”
“I really enjoyed it, it was really good fun to just get out there and stretch the legs,” agreed Leach, a London Phoenix rider. “Nicola and I rode the whole way together so we wanted to cross the line together.”
“I’ve never been up Box Hill or Leith Hill and after today it feels like I’m destined to never ride them!”
Wiggle Honda’s Neil Towns was also among the early finishers, completing his second Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100.
“Riding at the front was really exciting,” he said. “I did the event last year. It was slighty damper than last year but still fantastic, still good riding. It’s a lovely bike ride that isn’t too challenging so you can just get out there and ride for the fun of it.”
“There were fewer supporters than last year but the ones who were out gave it some welly. I’ll definitely be back next year.”
“This event’s like the London Marathon for cyclists – if you can get a place you jump at it. A beautiful bike ride; the spirit of the London Olympics carries on.”
Ben Knapp backed up the other riders’ support for the shortened route, relishing a ride started by three world greats of women’s cycling: world and Olympic road race champion Marianne Vos, double Olympic track champion Laura Trott and multiple Paralympic gold medallist Dame Sarah Storey.
Ian Rees – post race
“It was a bit disappointing to have the route shortened but coming across the top of Newlands was pretty nasty so everyone understood why the organisers did it. It was the right decision,” said the Dulwich Paragon rider.”
“More than a quarter of Dulwich Paragon’s 600 members were riding today so it’s a really great event for everyone.”
“Having Marianne Vos, Sarah Storey and Laura Trott starting the ride was great. We set off feeling really inspired.”
All three women then rode the sportive themselves – Vos delighted to be back on the roads where she won Olympic gold two years ago.
“I’ve never done a ride as big as this; it was really something special,” said the Dutch rider who finished second in yesterday’s Prudential RideLondon Grand Prix.
“Just to ride with all these people and see everyone coming out riding, not caring about the rain was fantastic. It was great fun.”
“It was great to back on the roads of London 2012 and to see more than 20,000 out there too was fabulous. I saw quite a lot of them, I think, and everyone was taking care of themselves and each other.”
- Jon Snow throws down gauntlet to Russell Brand and Philip Hindes MBE, Olympic gold medalist
- Money raised will go towards securing the Velodrome’s future and riders’ nominated charities
The Herne Hill Velodrome Trust are delighted to announce the launch of the Herne Hill Velodrome Riband, a fundraising challenge pitching top cyclists against Twitter-savvy celebrities. The HHV Riband will be a high-profile fundraiser with 50 per cent of the funds raised going towards securing the Velodrome’s future and the other 50 per cent towards riders’ nominated charities.
So how does it work? Each rider, whether they’re Olympian Philip Hindes MBE or Jon Snow, broadcaster and Channel 4 News presenter, will ride three laps of the 450m track at the Herne Hill Velodrome – from a standing start, they’ll have one windup lap, then two timed laps. The fastest lap will be their registered time.
And who will win? Well, it really could be anyone’s. That’s right, we haven’t mentioned the special twist – the person with the highest total ‘score’ will be announced as the winner. A person’s ‘score’ will be calculated by dividing each rider’s fundraising efforts by their fastest lap time. So, a ‘slow’ celebrity could out sprint an Olympian by raising more cash – an ingenious way for a celebrity to beat an Olympian.
#bicyclebulletin presenter Sophie Robehmed & Jon Snow selfie at the launch of the Herne Hill Velodrome Riband.
The Riband announcement was made in the first episode of the #bicyclebulletin by Hillary Peachey, Chairman of the Herne Hill Velodrome Trust. The first challengers are avid cyclist, Jon Snow, Channel 4 News Anchor and Philip Hindes, Olympic cycling gold medal winner, who will both compete for the HHV Riband later in the year.
Talking to the #bicyclebulletin, Jon Snow said: “I will be riding for my charity New Horizon Youth Centre. I have more than 402,000 followers on Twitter so what I may lack in speed, I expect to more than compensate for through fundraising online. I believe dirty tricks are allowed so I will be calling on some old friends to help out.” And who would Snow like to be up against on the track? “I am very keen to challenge @RustyRockets – Russell Brand.”
Philip Hindes said: “I will be riding for Team Herne Hill. I am one of the fastest men on the track in the UK so, although I don’t yet have 400,000 twitter followers like Jon, I am quietly confident I can give my rivals a run for their money! I also have one or two old friends in the right places. I am challenging my friend, Andy Tennant, Team GB cyclist.”
Up to nine riders will be invited to take part in the HHV Riband, which will commence later this year. Their laps will be broadcast online on the #bicyclebulletin’s website: www.bicyclebulletin.co.uk.
Herne Hill Velodrome patron, double Olympic gold medalist and nine times world champion track cyclist, Victoria Pendleton CBE, said: “May the best team win.”
Interested riders should contact Theodore Bird ([email protected]; +44 (0)7711 747 334). Don’t miss all the action – subscribe to the Bicycle Bulletin’s channels at www.bicyclebulletin.co.uk.
Herne Hill Velodrome
The Herne Hill Velodrome is one of the oldest tracks in the world. It was built in 1891 and used for the 1948 London Olympic Games. The Herne Hill Velodrome Trust is a registered charity working towards building a new pavilion on site to give riders, staff, volunteers and spectators the facilities they all deserve. For more information please go to www.hhvt.org
New Horizon Youth Centre
Jon Snow is Chair of the New Horizon Youth Centre, a day centre for 16 to 24-year-olds in central London. The annual New Horizon’s Comedy Benefit, hosted by comedian Ed Byrne, will take place at the Shaw Theatre on June 2 2014, tickets available from Ticketmaster.
Scottish Cycling athletes travel to Manchester ahead of the British Cycling National Track Championships
This week sees the Manchester Velodrome play host to the British Cycling National Track Championships. A line up of 284 riders are confirmed to appear throughout 5 days of competition (25th – 29th September) including World Keirin Champion, Jason Kenny, who will go up against fellow London 2012 Team Sprint gold medallist Philip Hindes in the men’s sprint events. The men’s endurance events will feature Olympic Gold Medallists Ed Clancy and Steven Burke as well as former World Champion Andrew Tennant and Olympic Champions, Joanna Rowsell, Laura Trott and Dani King.
In the women’s events, Scottish Commonwealth Games silver medallists in Delhi; Charline Joiner (MG Maxifuel) and Jenny Davis (City of Edinburgh RC) will compete for the 500m time trial title alongside Katie Archibald (City of Edinburgh RC), Louise Haston (City of Edinburgh RC), Emma Baird (City of Edinburgh RC) and Eleanor Richardson (Edinburgh RC). Joiner and Archibald will also compete in the 3000m Individual Pursuit and Davis will compete for the women’s sprint together with Haston, Baird and Richardson. Louise Borthwick (Edinburgh RC) will be joined by Eileen Roe (Breast Cancer Care Cycling Team), Archibald and Joiner in the points and scratch race. Baird, Davis and Haston will also be lining up for the women’s keirin.
Also taking to the boards will be Commonwealth Games hopefuls Callum Skinner (City of Edinburgh RC) and John Paul (City of Edinburgh RC) competing in the men’s keirin on Friday and the sprint event on Saturday in which Skinner, as reigning champion, will look to defend his title.
Speaking to British Cycling, defending British sprint champion and Commonwealth Games hopeful Callum Skinner, originally from Glasgow said: “It (winning the British National Sprint Champion title) was probably one of my best achievements last year, so to be able to hold onto that or even be close to it would be a great thing.”
“The Commonwealth Games is also big target for me; want to hit that event full on. With ticket sales having drawn to a close, it seems like it is really on the horizon now.”
John Paul, Bruce Croall (City of Edinburgh RC) and Jonathan Biggin (Glasgow Life Track Cycling Team) are hoping to bring a British National Championship medal home to Scotland when they compete for Scottish Cycling (Scotland) in the Team Sprint, however they will be up against strong competition from the likes of Callum Skinner, Philip Hindes and Matthew Rotherham who will be competing for the North West of England.
Team Raleigh rider Evan Oliphant, straight from the Tour of Britain, will be competing in the points and scratch races alongside James McCallum (Rapha Condor JLT) who will also be competing in the omnium.
Another Commonwealth Games hopeful taking to the Manchester track will be Silas Goldsworthy (Sandy Wallace Cycles) who will compete in the 4000m individual pursuit scratch and point’s race.
Paralympic gold medallists Neil Fachie (Ythan CC) and Aileen McGlynn OBE (Champion System/Maxgear/Base) will compete in the para-cycling kilo time trial and flying 200m TT. Scottish para-cycling pilot Craig McLean will also be competing in the keirin and sprint races.
Follow all the latest action at www.britishcycling.org.uk/britishtrackchampionships
Full Rider List
I caught up with recently crowned National Time Trial Champion Joanna Rowsell MBE to find out her plans for the next few months and her thoughts on the whirlwind of a year that brought her further success at the Olympic Games in London and her seamless transition to the road.
Jo was about to ride the Great Manchester Cycle ride. Launched in 2012, the first Great Manchester Cycle was a resounding success, with a staggering 7,000 riders taking up the challenge and this years event was even bigger. Lizzie Amitstead, who brought home Britain’s first medal of the Games last summer in the Women’s Road Race, along with former Olympic champion Rebecca Romero were among those to take part in the inaugural Great Manchester Cycle, with Armitstead describing the event as “a fantastic day out”. This year Jo got to experience the buzzing atmosphere, the olympic champion seemed to be thoroughly enjoying herself with her signature beaming smile visible at all times under her helmet.
Joanna Rowsell MBE’s website
Follow Jo on Twitter @JoannaRowsell
Great Manchester Cycle’s website – Enter now for 2014!” Great Manchester Cycle’s website – Enter now for 2014!
Cycling Stars Join City’s Charity Fundraisers at Trois Etapes 2013 Launch
– Trois Etapes 2013 cycling Pro-Am has already raised $600k for charity, last year’s event raised $1.7 million
– Launch attended by Olympic Gold medallist Ed Clancy MBE, Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre and a host of senior figures from the financial sector
– Plans to launch ‘Giro’ version of the event in 2014 announced
Sports stars joined forces with leading city figures last night [Tuesday 19th March] to pledge their support for the Trois Etapes 2013 cycling Pro-Am race, held 26-29th July in the French Alps.The launch for the 2013 edition of the
unique cycling event was held at global law firm, Reed Smith LLP’s, London headquarters on the 33rd floor of Broadgate Tower. It was attended by over 150 supporters from the world of sport, media, business and finance.
The Trois Etapes provides a fundraising platform for 15 charity teams and last year raised $1.7 million for their charity partners making it the largest pro-am charity cycling event of its kind and one of the largest in sport.
The event is designed to give riders the chance to experience team cycling under race conditions, with the full support that a pro cyclist would have in a race like the Tour de France; it includes a flat Prologue and three mountain stages. The event is designed to incentivise tactical team riding. Each team of 8 riders (7 amateurs and 1 pro) has its own team car and Directeur Sportif. Every rider has a radio link with their team car and the Race Director.
Organisers of the event, Cosaveli, not only officially launched the 2013 edition of the event, but also revealed plans for a 2014 version in Italy, and an expanded 2014 version of the event in the France.
Attendees from sport and media included double Olympic Gold medallist Ed Clancy MBE, former Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre and TV’s Zoe Hardman.
“I feel happy to be back for the second year, for me it’s beautiful to be here again and this is a magnificent place to be. Last year was fantastic and I think it’s a great event,” said Carlos Sastre.
He continued: “It’s a huge motivation to ride, a lot of money being raised for charity which is even more motivation for me. That’s money for the projects and it means a lot for those that really need it.”
Ed Clancy MBE
“It’s incredible the difference in the awareness of cycling in this country,” explained Ed Clancy MBE. “It’s gone from strength to strength in the past few years and that’s down to the Olympics and riders like Bradley Wiggins. Cycling is booming and it’s great to see things like this really taking off too.”
Speaking from the 33rd Floor of the Broadgate Tower, he continued: “This is perhaps the nicest building I’ve ever been in; it’s certainly the nicest lift I’ve been in to get here. I think it just shows that cycling is popular with everyone at the moment, from all areas of life, and the fact that the people here are willing to put a bit back is cracking.”
The 2013 event will be televised by Channel 4 and British Eurosport.
Wiggle Etape Cymru Hits 1000 Entrants and Welcomes New Partners Giant and Mavic
Following on from a stellar 2012 event, it comes as no surprise that places are being snapped up quickly for this year’s Wiggle Etape Cymru, having already passed 1000 entrants, a 145% increase against this time last year.
After taking ownership in early 2012, Human Race have worked tirelessly to ensure the Wiggle Etape Cymru is now recognised as one of the ‘must do’ events on the UK sportive calendar, with 98% of participants rating the 2012 event overall as “Good” or “Excellent”.
As well as the incredibly positive feedback received from participants the event has also been widely acclaimed within the cycling industry and as a result has attracted a range of respected cycling brands who have now partnered with the event, including the new Title Partner Wiggle.
The latest brands to partner with the event include the world’s leading bike brand Giant, who will be providing bike checks and mechanical support for participants from the venue, and Mavic who will be providing riders with a Tour de France style support experience on the route. As more respected brands look set to add their support the 2013 participant experience will continue to improve from the already extremely well received 2012 event.
The 2013 edition takes place on Sunday 8th September and once again offers participants the unparalleled experience of riding through the stunning Welsh countryside on traffic free roads.
Starting and finishing the Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse in Wrexham, the 92 mile route features some truly testing terrain. Passing through quaint Denbighshire and Wrexham villages, riders will be able to take in the spectacular views of the Clwydian range (an area of outstanding beauty), while tackling lung-busting climbs such as Panorama, The Shelf, World’s End and the iconic Horseshoe Pass.
Olympic medallist and Team Sky rider Geraint Thomas is the event ambassador and speaks of great scenes awaiting those who are lucky enough to get a place: “My home country of Wales makes me feel so lucky to be a cyclist. North Wales, in particular, is a really special area with quiet roads, tough climbs and the reward of spectacular panoramic views.”
He continued: “At nearly 100 miles, the Wiggle Etape Cymru is a grueling sportive but everyone taking part will be rewarded with a fantastic day in the saddle on stunning roads.”
Nick Rusling, CEO of Human Race said: “The Wiggle Etape Cymru is a wonderful event and it is great to hear that we have passed 1000 entrants so early on in the year. We’re delighted to welcome the new partnerships that will continue to improve the rider experience and quality of the event.”
Participants in the event will be encouraged to fundraise for the Official National Charity Partner Macmillan Cancer Support. The money raised will be used to help Macmillan support not only people affected by cancer, but everyone their cancer has an impact on, from partners, to children, to friends and carers.
Riders will also be supporting Local Charity Partner Nightingale House. The charity provides specialist palliative care services, completely free-of-charge, to patients and their families across a wide area stretching from Wrexham, Flintshire and East Denbighshire to Barmouth and the border towns including Oswestry and Whitchurch.