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Cyclists invited to ride alongside Cyclothon UK sporting heroes

Tuesday, July 22 2014

International sporting stars will return to Brands Hatch this September (11) for the annual 12-hour Cyclothon UK event on the Grand Prix circuit, and cyclists are invited to join them on track to raise funds for charity.

Cyclothon UK was created by former England Rugby prop Victor Ubogu as a competitive event for cycling enthusiasts, with the pledge to raise £1 million for charity over five years. In addition to raising funds, riders are also encouraged to compete for prizes.

Brands Hatch was founded as a cycling venue, before becoming world-famous for car and motorcycle racing, and hosted road cycling at the 2012 Paralympics. The course, which used much of the undulating Grand Prix circuit, was praised as the best yet, and the winning of two Gold Medals by racing driver Alex Zanardi was voted as the greatest moment of the Games.

The event will also revive old sporting rivalries from the Rugby field thanks to the Home Nations Trophy, which offers charity riders and keen cyclists the chance to ride alongside celebrities. Cyclothon UK events have attracted a number of sporting charities and helped raise over £150,000 for various causes so far. The RFU Injured Player's Foundation has entered teams every year as they work to raise funds for catastrophically injured rugby payers. Also joining this year from the rugby community will be teams from the Matt Hampson Foundation and J9 Foundation, South African legend Joost van der Westhuizen's charity. Individuals and teams are welcome to register for Cyclothon UK. Cyclothon UK organisers are also encouraging local businesses and schools to come to the event to cheer on the sporting celebrities and charities taking part. Entry is free for all spectators and the event will run for 12 hours from 7:30am until the award presentation ceremony on the podium at 7:30pm.

Ubogu said: "A lot of my old rugby mates have got into cycling and every year we get more and more ex-players looking to race in Cyclothon. We launched the Home Nations Trophy as I was confident that my fine squad of English Bulldogs would conquer the track. In Rory Underwood, Lee Mears, Phil de Glanville, Jon Callard, Graham Dawe, and Jon Sleightholme, we had some fit and strong cyclists. However, I underestimated the determination of Team Jocks led by Craig Chalmers and Scott Hastings and the sheer madness of Colin Charvis, Alix Popham and the Welsh boys who stayed in the bar until 5am, got on their bikes two hours later and still beat our entire team!  Team Bulldogs have retreated and retrained and we are ready this year, to steal the cup away from the Welsh."

Registration to compete in the event is open until Friday August 29th, 2014. Those wishing to enter a team or to ride solo can book by calling VU Ltd on 0871 871 5300. Spectators are welcome all day with no charge to enter Brands Hatch during the event.  For more details visit www.cyclothonuk.com or follow updates on twitter @cyclothonuk