Davina gets back in the saddle to join 400 cyclists on her Big Sussex Bike Ride
Davina McCall took to her bike to help raise funds for children's charity Action Medical Research last week at her Big Sussex Bike Ride, the star's first cycling event since her gruelling Sport Relief challenge in February 2014.
Last year, a knee injury meant she had to wave riders off at the start line at the annual event but this year she was able to send cyclists on their way then join them for the 40-mile Classic route after getting back in the saddle three weeks ago.
Four hundred cyclists, including skating legend Jayne Torvill, BBC newsreader Sophie Raworth and hand cyclist Rob Groves, took part in Davina's Big Sussex Bike Ride on Sunday, 7 June, which is expected to raise more than £30,000 for children’s charity Action Medical Research.
The event began against the beautiful backdrop of East Sussex National Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa at Little Horsted near Uckfield with cyclists covering three routes: the Cool 21-mile route, the more challenging Classic and the Champion 68-mile option for experienced riders. Riders were able to take in the stunning Sussex scenery including Glynde, Laughton, Hellingly, Herstmonceux and Battle in the sunshine.
"It's a wonderful ride because it's female-friendly, which means everyone can take part and it doesn't matter whether you are a novice," says Davina, who planning to tackle the Champion route next year.
"It's not a race, it’s a journey, and so there is a real sense of support and teamwork out there on the route to ensure no one gets left behind - then there's a huge party at the finish line!"
Event organiser Paula Ray, Action Medical Research's Community Fundraising Manager for the south-east, said: “It was a fantastic turnout and everyone had a wonderful day - the sunshine certainly helped. There's a really inclusive atmosphere on this ride and everyone loves being seen off by Davina at the start.”
Money raised by cyclists participating in Davina's Big Sussex Bike Ride will help fund medical research into conditions affecting babies and children. Action Medical Research has been funding medical breakthroughs since it began in 1952. The charity is currently supporting work around childhood cancer, Down syndrome, epilepsy, and cystic fibrosis, as well as some rare and distressing conditions that severely affect children.
For more information on Action Medical Research's rides, please visit action.org.uk/get_involved/cycling
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For high-res images of Davina at the bike ride, please click on the links below and credit Lee Collier Photography where possible (more photographs are available):
For more information on Action Medical Research, please contact Ellie Evans, Fundraising Communications Officer, on:
T: 01403 327480
Action Medical Research is a leading UK-wide charity working to save and change children’s lives through medical research. We believe that the diseases that devastate the lives of so many of our children can be beaten. We have been funding medical breakthroughs since we began in 1952 like the first polio vaccines in the UK, ultrasound in pregnancy and the rubella vaccine – helping to save thousands of children’s lives and change many more.
Just one breakthrough, however small, can mean the world. Charity reg.nos 208701 and SC039284.