Cycling stars including Olympic gold medallists Chris Boardman and Nicole Cooke will be guests at a glittering event to help sick babies and children.
The first Champions of CycleSport Dinner takes place at the Emirates Stadium in London – the home of Arsenal football club – on 18 November.
Some 400 guests have paid to enjoy a champagne reception and gourmet supper with some of the biggest names on two wheels, with all profits going to children’s health charity Action Medical Research.
Other stars expected at the event include Olympic team pursuit gold medallist Geraint Thomas, Tour de France rider David Millar, cyclo-cross national champion Helen Wyman and four-time British bike trial champion Martyn Ashton, plus former pro riders Sean Yates – one of only four Brits ever to wear the yellow jersey of the Tour de France leader – and John Herety, who rode for Great Britain at the 1980 Olympics and is now manager of the Rapha Condor Sharp team.
The evening is set to be hosted by newsreader Dermot Murnaghan, a keen rider who has cycled with Action Medical Research on two overseas tours, and will include a charity auction with lots including jerseys signed by star riders such as Chris Hoy, an introductory session on the track at the Wales National Velodrome in Newport and a half-day’s training ride with Nicole Cooke.
Cooke, an ambassador for the charity, says: “I was privileged to visit one of the projects funded by Action Medical Research at Hammersmith Hospital, London, and was very moved by the work of doctors and researchers studying premature birth. The Champions of CycleSport Dinner will be raising much-needed funds for research that could lead to life-changing treatments for babies and children.”
Over the past 60 years Action Medical Research has been instrumental in significant medical breakthroughs including the development of the UK polio vaccine and ultrasound scanning in pregnancy. Current research includes work around meningitis, epilepsy, cerebral palsy and premature birth.
The charity is well known for its cycling programme, which includes the 100 Series of one-day regional rides, the RIDE24 relay race and the biggest London to Paris ride in the charity sector. For 2011 there will be five new regional rides, including the Cross Pennine 100 and Lake District 100, a women’s-only event led by Davina McCall and a new overseas tour, the 3 Cities Challenge, which starts in London and takes in Amsterdam and Brussels. To find out more, visit www.action.org.uk.