Sir Chris Hoy MBE and Geraint Thomas MBE join host of stars at Champions of CycleSport Dinner
Sir Chris Hoy MBE and Geraint Thomas MBE surprised guests as they joined a star-studded line-up at this year’s Champions of CycleSport Dinner in aid of Action Medical Research.
The event at Battersea Evolution last night (Thursday 26 November), which marked another successful season of high-profile rides for the children’s charity, raised more than £270,000 to help sick babies and children.
Olympic gold medallist Hoy said: “It's great to be back at the Champions of CycleSport Dinner and I’m proud to support such an impressive celebration of all that’s great about cycling – both in the UK as a whole and in particular the rides that the charity has put on over the past year.”
Hoy, who became Britain’s most successful ever Olympian in 2012, joined a host of fellow cycling champions at the gala dinner, including James Cracknell OBE, Rochelle Gilmore, Chris Boardman MBE, Dan Martin, David Millar, Sir Dave Brailsford CBE and Jody Cundy MBE.
Alex Dowsett, Rob Hayles, Mark Colbourne MBE, Jack Bauer, Stephen Roche, Roger Hammond and Dani King MBE were also in attendance at the cycling event of the year, which was supported by Garmin and returning sponsors BDO LLP.
Dr Dawn Harper showed her support for Action Medical Research along with cricketing legend Darren Gough and Sky's Olympics Correspondent Orla Chennaoui.
The evening was hosted by much-loved sports journalist and presenter Ned Boulting, and Sky News’ Dermot Murnaghan conducted exclusive interviews live on stage with a number of the champions, which were sponsored by Thomas Miller Investment.
Maserati, the luxury Italian car brand, was the automotive partner for the evening. Maserati, who introduced a new programme earlier this year to celebrate the marque’s affinity with cycling, provided a chauffeur service for the champions and showcased their Quattroporte and Ghibli models.
As well as the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the sport’s greatest riders, guests also had the chance to bid for some unmissable lots in the live and silent auctions.
Hosted by Cash in the Attic’s John Cameron and sponsored by Keepmoat, the live auction included a trip for two to Mallorca with Team Sky on their training camp in January, a place on Action Medical Research’s exclusive Ride Out with Chris Boardman in the Lake District in June and the chance to spend a day in the Madison Genesis team car with manager Roger Hammond at the 2016 Tour of Britain.
All eyes were on the one-of-a-kind Maserati Cipollini BOND road bike, a unique collaboration between two iconic Italian brands with speed and style at their heart signed by cycling legend Mario Cipollini himself, which went under the hammer for £5,000. Chris Froome’s signed yellow jersey and a six-week bespoke training plan from Rowe & King were also on offer to the highest bidders, while a Paul Oz painting of Geraint Thomas – signed by the man himself – sold for £4,000.
Olympic gold medallist, triple world champion and former world record holder Chris Boardman MBE is the official ambassador for the event. He said: “I’m so proud to be the ambassador for the Champions of CycleSport Dinner, raising funds for Action Medical Research - not only is it a fantastic evening for an extremely worthwhile cause but they also lead the pack when it comes to organising great cycling events.
“I would encourage any cyclist to get a place on one of their rides, as you're guaranteed a well-planned event and you'll also be supporting Action's efforts to help many thousands of families dealing with the trauma of a baby born too early, striving to support a child affected by disability, or facing the challenge of caring for a child with a rare disease for which there is no cure.”
Action Medical Research's Head of Events Fundraising David Graham said: “This has been a fantastic evening with most of the biggest names in UK cycling all under one roof to help raise a record amount for sick and disabled babies and children.
"We've been running the Champions of CycleSport Dinner for six years now and it just gets better every year - cycling is such an important part of our fundraising work and it's great to be able to recognise that with some of the world’s finest champions.”
With the help of its supporters, Action Medical Research has played a significant role in many medical breakthroughs since it began in 1952, from the development of the first UK polio vaccines to the use of ultrasound in pregnancy.
It is currently funding research into meningitis, Down syndrome, epilepsy and premature birth, as well as some rare and distressing conditions that severely affect children.
For details on Action Medical Research’s cycling events visit action.org.uk/cycling
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For high-res images of the 2015 Champions of CycleSport Dinner, please click on the links below (please credit Phil O’Connor) -
The Champions on stage at Battersea Evolution:
Sir Chris Hoy MBE:
Chris Boardman MBE:
Dani King MBE, Sir Chris Hoy MBE and Rochelle Gilmore: https://www.action.org.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/press/dani_king_chris_hoy_and_rochelle_gilmore_champions_2015.jpg
Dani King MBE arriving at Battersea Evolution in a Maserati:
Rochelle Gilmore arriving at Battersea Evolution in a Maserati:
Rochelle Gilmore on stage with Dermot Murnaghan: https://www.action.org.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/press/rochelle_with_dermot_murnaghan.jpg
Sir Dave Brailsford on stage with Dermot Murnaghan: https://www.action.org.uk/sites/default/files/downloads/press/sir_dave_with_dermot_murnaghan.jpg
Orla Chennaoui giving her speech:
Some of the auction items:
Geraint Thomas with the painting by Paul Oz:
The painting of Geraint Thomas by Paul Oz:
The Maserati Cipollini BOND road bike (front) and a Pinarello Dogma F8 ridden by Team Sky and signed by Sir Dave Brailsford:
NOTES TO EDITORS:
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.