A group of F1 fans will undertake a marathon bike ride to the Italian Grand Prix later this year to raise money for charity.
Ride2Monza follows a similar trip two years ago when the group travelled to the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. Scheduled to take nine days, the journey will raise funds for a number of causes, including Cancer UK and the Multiple Sclerosis Trust.
The ride will begin at Silverstone and travel through France, Switzerland and Italy before arriving at Monza in time for Friday practice. Organiser Rich Tindale, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, explained how the idea came about.
“In 2011 I was recovering from a relapse that affected my vision quite badly,” said Tindale. “I love cycling, but at the time I couldn’t even think about getting on a bike.
"So I told myself that when I was back in action I'd arrange a charity ride to an F1 race in support of the MS Trust. It's a great way to combine two things I love while raising funds and awareness for a charity that's very close to my heart.”
The latest effort was put into doubt last year when one of Tindale's fellow riders lost his young son to leukaemia. However, the group have now decided to push ahead in his memory.
“While we were organising Ride2Spa my best friend Simon Campbell’s new-born boy Jasper was diagnosed with leukaemia, so we decided to support charities which had helped the family during a very difficult time,” Tindale explained.
“Jasper received a bone marrow transplant at Birmingham Children’s Hospital in March 2012, and when we rode to Spa he was in remission and looking really well. However, his leukaemia returned in August 2013, and tragically Jasper lost his battle on 14 October 2013. This put a hold on all things Ride2Monza and really made us think about whether it should take place.
“But after some thought Simon has decided he wants to go ahead. As such, he’ll be cycling the 800 miles in memory of his little boy Jasper.”
The ride gets underway on 28 August, ending nine days and 800 miles later at Monza on September 5.
More information can be found at www.ride2monza.com.