This year for the 2019 season I am proudly supported by ‘The Dave Rayner Fund’.
Dave Rayner was a professional racing cyclist from England in the 80’s and 90’s. At the time of his career he was very successful by dominating the British scene which led to a pro contract with the Interent-Yugo team in 1987. Following from this were three very successful seasons with Raleigh-Banana and Banana-Falcon.
At the peak of his career he was ready to take on the ‘Tour de France’ but unfortunately had to miss the start due to injury. Dave then wanted to take on a different approach and head to the USA for a season before returning home in 1994. In November of that year, during a night out in Bradford with friends, he was the victim of an assault that led to his death four days later.
Almost immediately, Dave’s grief-stricken friends were working on plans to set up a fund in his memory. Its goal would be to support young British riders wanting to get experience of racing abroad, in just the same way that Dave had done in Italy in the mid-1980s. It first started in 1996, and suddenly the ‘Dave Rayner Fund’ backed four riders racing internationally.
After the first year success, each year the fund grew and grew with new up and coming cyclists wanting to make a living abroad as a professional cyclist. The fund has managed to back in total 250 riders including olympic champions and winners of huge races such as the Tour and many more. Through its annual dinner, the Étape du Dales cyclosportive and other activities, the fund has raised more than £1million.
For me, to be a part of the Dave Rayner Fund is a huge honour given it’s amazing history and I hope I can do it justice in 2019!
Make sure to head to there website to learn more about the organisation and get to know the riders who will be supported. https://www.daveraynerfund.co.uk/