London-based clothing firm Rapha has teamed up with the charity Ambitious about Autism to launch the Manchester to London Challenge – a 220-mile ride that starts at the Manchester Velodrome, and finishes at Lee Valley VeloPark at Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
The ride takes place on Sunday 7 September and the route has been devised to follow quiet roads in the Peak District, the Midlands and the Chilterns – plenty of hills, then – with four feed stations along the way and mechanical support, although riders are advised to make sure they are self-sufficient.
Rapha, whose CEO Simon Mottram has a son who has autism, previously partnered with the charity last year for its Bordeaux-Paris Challenge.
The entry fee is £150 with participants asked to raise a minimum of £750 in sponsorship, and the event is limited to 300 places.
Training rides will be held, starting from Rapha’s existing Cycle Club in London and the branch in Manchester that is due to open this summer, and the latter venue will also host a pre-ride party. Rapha is also producing limited edition North and South caps.
According to Rapha, “The distance and terrain will provide a real challenge travelling through some of Britain’s most beautiful and lesser-known landscapes.
“Each rider on entry is allocated a team, either North or South (unless you’re from Birmingham, in which case you must choose a team).
“The quickest average time will then be declared the winning region, and will host the finish of the following year’s event.”
You can find out more information about the London to Manchester Challenge, including how to enter, here.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.