A new thigh-busting, brute of a cycle challenge – Ride 24 – has been launched by leading charity Action Medical Research. Inspired by the 24 Hours of Le Mans motorsports race, this is a unique team relay bike race that takes place at Dunsfold aerodrome, Surrey, home of the Top Gear test track, on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 June 2009.
The competitive event will be won by the team that completes the most laps, and therefore travels furthest, in 24 hours. Teams of four will need stamina, speed, skill and strategy in this nerve-crunching relay race. In addition to prizes for the team that cycles the furthest and for the fastest women’s and veterans’ teams, there will also be the chance to win prizes for fastest lap and the longest stint.
The track course, which is practically a flat surface, includes part of the airfield and the runway, and in total is about 4.5km long. Riders can get up to speeds of about 40 miles per hour on the runway which is downhill for 2km.
Teams include riders working for Sky, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan and all teams will be ‘electronically tagged’, i.e. given a transponder, an electronic chip that will be fitted to their bikes and will enable cycling times to be electronically recorded.
Tactically teams can choose how long each cyclist rides for: they can ride for as long or as little as they wish. The winning teams will have developed a strategy to outdo the opposition by developing their own plan depending on their team strengths. Tactics could include doing short fast spurts or long haul marathon stints to gain pace.
At stake is the first-ever Ride 24 title and medals for gold, silver and bronze teams. The medals will be presented at a gala lunch on Sunday 28 June by Olympic and World Champion cyclist, Nicole Cooke. Nicole has set up a new women’s professional cycling team, Vision1 Racing who have formed a partnership with Action Medical Research. Nicole says: “I am proud to be able to support Action Medical Research by drawing attention to their charity, support their fundraising events and the work which is helping to change the outcome of people’s lives.
Sarah Stevenson, community fundraising manager at Action Medical Research, said: “This Race is the first for Action Medical Research and we hope teams will join us to make this one of the most spectacular 24 hour races in the UK’
The event costs £200 per team to enter and a commitment to raise a total of £2,400 per team in sponsorship. For more information visit www.action.org.uk.
The Action Medical Research team is passionate about cycling and the charity has more than 25 years experience in organising successful bike rides.
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