Entries have opened for an inaugural Cycling Sportive which will take place on 8 August 2021, ahead of the 2022 Westfield Health British Transplant Games (BTG) in Leeds.
Organised by True Cycling, in partnership with Extra Motorway Services, the first ever BTG Cycling Sportive is open to individuals of all ages and cycling abilities and will aim to raise awareness of organ donation, as well as funds for the charity behind the Games, Transplant Sport.
The sportive will start and end at Extra’s newest motorway service site Skelton Lake, located off Junction 45 on the M1, just two miles from Leeds city centre. Cyclists will have the choice of two routes, both taking in the idyllic scenery of Skelton Lake before heading out towards Selby. The route then splits, with participants following a shorter or longer route.
The shorter route is a total riding distance of 57km, with 400m ascent. This route passes through Monk Fryston, Ledsham and Swillington before returning to the event village. The longer route totals 91km with a 740m ascent and heads north to follow the River Wharfe before heading through Sherburn in Elmet and Ledsham and back to Skelton Lake.
The Sportive is not a race and aims to bring as many participants together as possible, to raise vital awareness and funds. Both routes are suitable for cyclists of all abilities, from new riders looking for a challenge to seasoned pros.
The launch of the Cycling Sportive also marks the commencement of Extra’s sponsorship of the British Transplant Games. The UK-wide organisation has committed to support the Games in its aim to raise awareness of the life-saving benefits of organ donation for the next 4 years.
Andrew Long, Chief Executive of Extra MSA Group, said: “We’re very proud to be sponsoring the British Transplant Games and to be hosting the inaugural Cycling Sportive at our Leeds Skelton Lake service area, a facility that is already proving extremely popular with a wide range of customers, providing them with a wide range of great food and beverage ‘brand’ outlets within an attractive internal and external environment.
“Since its inception 43 years ago, the British Transplant Games has transformed countless lives and raised much needed awareness for this vitally important cause. The continued enduring work of fundraisers and members is inspiring, and we very much look forward to welcoming all cyclists and participants to our site in August. Approximately 300 people on a full-time equivalent basis are employed at Leeds Skelton Lake Services which has an active role in the local community. We are very proud that our ‘Next Generation’ motorway service area will be a base for this event, helping to promote an extremely worthy cause whilst encouraging physical activity.”
Dr Paul Harden, Chair of Trustees for Transplant Sport, said: “The British Transplant Games are a key event in the calendar each year for Transplant Sport and provide a vital platform of support for transplant recipients and donor families too.
“The Cycling Sportive is a great way people can support Transplant Sport and Games to raise further awareness of organ donation. We hope to see a large number of registrations for this fun and inclusive event to celebrate the gift of life across the transplant community.”
Entry to the Sportive is £20, with at least £5 being donated to Transplant Sport to help stage the British Transplant Games in Leeds. Limited edition cycling jerseys are also available to pre-order and collect on the day for £40, with at least £10 being donated to Transplant Sport.
To sign up for the Westfield Health British Transplant Games Cycling Sportive 2021, visit: https://www.true-cycling.com/events/skeltonlakes
For more information on the Games, visit: britishtransplantgames.co.uk/
For more information on organ donation and to register your decision, visit: https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/register-your-decision/