From the Tour of Britain to the Tour de France, Prostate Cancer UK's Sarah Lines explains why 2016 is set to be our biggest year in cycling.
When did Britain become obsessed with cycling? It’s a question I’ve asked myself many times over the summer. As the Rio 2016 Olympics draws ever closer, I’ve been considering how much our cycling events have grown and how 2016 could be our biggest year yet for cycling events.
Football to Amsterdam, our ride which started in 2013 as London to Amsterdam, has now grown into an epic ride with two start points. 500 cyclists from a whole host of different football teams will take on this ride of a lifetime in 2016. Less than three years ago we had 26 riders, now we’re looking to raise over £650K.
We’ve also invested in RideLondon-Surrey 100, becoming one of the largest charities involved with the event, and we’re hoping to smash through the £1M fundraising mark next year.
And that’s not all. Just last month we launched the Grand Depart Classic, a brand new ride designed to give 100 riders the opportunity to experience what it’s like to cycle like pro as they take on the first stage of the Tour de France. It’s a completely unique event and a chance to sample the Tour de France experience without needing the extreme levels of fitness. Interest has been high and we’re hoping it could be one of our biggest fundraisers yet.
But with all these events demanding our attention it has meant we’ve had to say goodbye to a couple of our home-grown events: the Jurassic and Saxon Classics.
With more competition in the sportive market, there are now more events to choose from than ever before. That's great for cyclists looking for sportives, but tougher for us to recruit riders and raise enough to cover our costs and still help men with prostate cancer. Which is why this year, we took the difficult decision to withdraw from the UK sportive market and focus our resources on the cycling events that we feel will yield more return.
With two new events, Football to Amsterdam and the Grand Depart Classic, we’re excited to see what we can achieve in 2016. These rides give cyclists of all abilities the chance to push their limits and experience what it’s like to ride in the tracks of the greats. And we want you to join us at the head of the pack, to take your place among our cyclists in 2016 and make sure we raise as much as possible for men with prostate cancer. Check out prostatecanceruk.org/cycling, pick the challenge that suits you and make those miles count.