A LEEDS healthcare charity was riding high today after being named as the official fundraising partner for one of 2019’s most eagerly awaited sporting events.
More than 1,000 top cyclists from dozens of countries will descend on Yorkshire when it stages the UCI Road World Championships over nine days in September.
And organisers yesterday announced details of a fundraising link-up with Leeds Cares, a charity that works to improve healthcare services for patients across the county.
A total of 400 places in the event’s mass participation ‘sportive’ ride have been reserved for people raising money for Leeds Cares, with 70 set aside for NHS staff.
Otley cycling star Lizzie Deignan was yesterday also confirmed as an ambassador for Leeds Cares.
She said: “I was born in the LGI and everyone knows I’m a proud Yorkshire woman, so becoming an ambassador for Leeds Cares and their association with the UCI World Championships in Yorkshire next year is the perfect fit.
“Sport at any level has an incredible power to help improve the health of body and mind with long-term benefits.
“That’s why it’s perfect that people can raise money for Leeds Cares by taking part in the official sportive.
“I can’t wait for what will be an amazing festival of cycling in the best county!”
Leeds Cares chief executive David Welch said: “We might be based in Leeds, but we are very much here for the people of Yorkshire.
“The sportive is a great way of bike-lovers doing something amazing and raising money that will go directly to supporting patients.
“At Leeds Cares we try to do things differently. We bring individuals, companies, families and communities together to raise money, bring about change and improve health services in their area.
“We believe that when people work together, amazing things can happen – and Yorkshire securing these championships is a great example of just that.”
The UCI Road World Championships will take place from September 21 to 29, with different races – including individual time trials and elite road contests – being staged on routes across Yorkshire.
As previously reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, the men’s elite road race on September 29 will run from Leeds to Harrogate.
The date and route of the sportive has yet to be announced by the UCI, world cycling’s governing body.
Yorkshire was chosen to hold the championships after a joint bid by British Cycling, Welcome to Yorkshire, UK Sport and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Its selection came on the back of the huge success of the county’s hosting of the Grand Départ of the Tour de France in 2014 and the subsequent launch of the annual Tour de Yorkshire.
Looking ahead to next September, UCI president David Lappartient said: “The eyes of the world will be on the county of Yorkshire.
“The stage is set for another momentous event in cycling history which will bring the very best talent to race on the roads of Yorkshire.
“This partnership with Leeds Cares is an opportunity to harness the power of sport and bring communities together to leave a lasting and positive effect for healthcare for the public.”
For information on how to sign up for the sportive, visit the www.leeds-cares.org/UCI web page.