Mark Cavendish presents 2012 Right to Play ride
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mark Cavendish presents 2012 Right to Play ride

by Ben Atkins at 10:00 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Training, Preparation, and Health, Tour de France, Olympics
World champion lends his support to charity ride from the Tour de France to the Olympic Park

mark cavendishWorld champion Mark Cavendish was present at the Specialized Concept Store in London’s Covent Garden to launch the 2012 Right to Play Bike Ride. The charity, whose mission is “to improve the lives of children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world by using the power of sport and play for development, health and peace,” is organising its big Tour de France ride for the fourth time; this year’s event will begin in Liège, Belgium, on July 1st, the day after riders have had the chance to watch the race’s prologue around the streets of the city.

“I’ve been a Right To Play Athlete Ambassador for a number of years and I still get excited about the work they do and events they run to fund this work,” Cavendish said. “Right To Play’s 2012 Bike Ride is no exception to this and I was happy to help launch the ride. If you are looking for a challenge in 2012 this ride is for everyone- sign up today to Right To Play's ride and support this great charity.”

At the presentation the World champion recounted a specific reason why he was committed to being an athlete ambassador for the charity: “I think it was in Sierra Leone, and they went to a little girl whose parents had both been killed, and she hadn’t talked for a year. I can’t remember who it was, but they just rolled a ball to her; she looked at the ball, looked up, and she pushed the ball back… it kept on for a while; it wasn’t just that one thing but in time she was talking, and she just integrated back into life.”

While Cavendish’s connection with Right to Play stems from its links with the HIC-Highroad team, he will continue his role as athlete ambassador, as will teammate Bernhard Eisel, who follows him to Team Sky, as well as a number of other HTC-Highroad riders like Irish champion Matt Brammeier, who rides for Quick Step next season.

“Mark’s success on the road this year matches his contribution to Right To Play,” said Nick Smith, Right To Play UK National Director. “His support for our bike rides and our work has been invaluable, and has helped us to raise essential funds for our programmes. We hope that 2012 will be the best year yet for both Mark and Right To Play.”

Where the 2011 ride took an amateur peloton from London to the first stage of the Tour de France in the Vendée region of France, next year’s ride will start at the race and head to London to finish close to the Olympic Park.

Day one will cover 110 miles (177km) between Liège and Gent, in the heart of Flemish cycling; day two will travel 100 miles (161km) from Gent to Calais, followed by a ferry crossing to the UK. Finally, the third day will cross Kent between the Channel port of Dover and the Olympic Park in northeast London; there will also be an option for stronger riders to take in a loop that includes the climb of Box Hill, which will be climbed twelve times in the Olympic road race a few weeks later.

Entry to the three-day ride costs £150, and includes all meals and accommodation on the ride – although riders will have to make their own way to Liège. Entry is also dependant on each rider raising a minimum of £1000 in sponsorship; although those who took part in previous rides will only have to raise £850.

More information on the ride, and how to enter, can be found at:


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