Amy and Emily Bovington, plus four cousins, formed Team Bov and cycled 100 miles to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer UK in memory of their father Graham. They are pictured at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium where Graham was a season ticket holder.

Thousands of riders got on their bikes this weekend to raise crucial funds for charities during the first two days of My Prudential RideLondon – the world’s greatest festival of cycling.

Participants from across the country took on challenges over a range of distances and on a variety of wheels, including bicycles, tandems, Brompton bikes, roller skates, scooters and skateboards.

The virtual event was originally planned for just this weekend (August 15-16), the dates on which this year’s Prudential RideLondon was scheduled to be held on the streets of London and Surrey before being cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the adverse weather conditions experienced across much of the country over the past two days prompted a decision to extend My Prudential RideLondon until Sunday 23 August, enabling people to postpone their challenges should they wish.

But though the weather was wet and wild for many, it did not stop thousands of participants from completing their challenges over the weekend. Some of the eye-catching stories include:

* World Cup-winning skipper drives team on again: England rugby’s World Cup-winning captain Martin Johnson and a team of sports stars that included fellow England and Leicester RFC team-mates Leon Lloyd and Martin Corry cycled 100 miles in tough conditions around Leicestershire. They were raising money for Switch the Play Foundation, a charity created by Lloyd, to help sports people as they transition into retirement.

● Riding to remember: sisters Amy and Emily Bovington plus four cousins completed 100 miles to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer UK in memory of their father Graham who died of the disease one year ago. The ride passed many of the most important things in Graham’s life including Arsenal’s Emirates stadium – where he was a season ticket holder – his workplace and his parents’ house. Pancreatic Cancer UK would have been the Charity of the Year for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 at this year’s event.

● Extreme sports stars come together: professional GB surfboarder and former Love Island contestant Laura Crane and two-time GB Winter Olympian Aimee Fuller cycled 100 miles.

● Guinness World Record breakers take on one extra challenge: friends Cat Dixon and Raz Marsden broke a Guinness World Record in March when they completed an around the world cycle on a tandem. The pair finished their epic challenge in 263 days, 8 hours and 7 minutes- and just before the UK went into lockdown! The pair decided to take on an extra challenge – My Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 – to try to get their fundraising to over £40,000 which they have now successfully done.

● Medical team ride for research: a team from Harrow’s Northwick Park Hospital, which was one of the hospitals at the forefront of London’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, completed 100 miles to raise money to continue heart research at the facility.

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of Prudential RideLondon, said: “It has been incredible to see how many people have been out this weekend, many in unfavourable weather conditions, and completed a My Prudential RideLondon challenge.

“At a time when charities need our help more than ever, My Prudential RideLondon has demonstrated, like The 2.6 Challenge before it, how the British public is prepared to rally together to do everything in its power to help.

“From a World Cup winner like Martin Johnson cycling 100 miles to people going out for their first ride, it has been a truly remarkable effort from all those who have taken part.

“The great news is My Prudential RideLondon is now continuing until next Sunday (23 August) so it gives anyone who hasn’t yet taken part time to register, create their own challenge and set up a fundraising page. It’s completely free and it’s great fun, so let’s keep the momentum going.”

Participants in My Prudential RideLondon are able to choose from four challenges based on the traditional event weekend. There are 100, 46 and 19-mile options, plus FreeCycle which allows you to set your own distance (minimum 1km).

By using the My Prudential RideLondon app, participants are able to track their own ride, compare it to the actual Prudential RideLondon routes, get a personalised finisher’s certificate and finisher selfie frames.

Entry is completely free and every rider aged over 18 who registers has the option of entering a fantastic competition that has 25 top-quality prizes available including a brand new Brompton bicycle valued at more than £1,000, a High5 nutrition bundle worth £250 and top-of-the-range cycling equipment including a SRAM groupset and Zipp wheels.

Go to www.myridelondon.co.uk to sign up for free.

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