Despite some early showers the sun shone on the first of this season's big sportive style women only charity bike rides, the Diva100 in aid of Action Medical Research. 500 women riders were sent on their way by TV star Davina McCall who herself rode the 50Km ride through the Sussex countryside - riders had the choice between 50 or 100Km routes.
Ms Mcall was on hand bright and early after hosting Channel 4’s The Million Pound Drop, on TV the night before to set riders off in her inimitable bubbly style from Cowdray Park in Sussex before joining them on the road herself.
The TV start was bitten by the cycling bug after she took part in last year's Sport Relief JOGLE ride from John O'Groats to Lands End – the Scottish leg of which in particular proved to be something of a baptism of fire when the celebrities taking part rode through some ferociously cold tempretures.
After tackling the 50km route Davina said: "The reason today has been so special is that as an all-women’s event it was really good fun and something that all abilities could do. It had a really nice feel-good atmosphere. The route was fantastic, the scenery breathtaking and it was all finished off with a guilt-free burger at the end! What more could you want? I hope to see everyone again next year for an even bigger and better event.”
The first Diva100 was sponsored by Specialized and is expected to raise more than £60,000 to help fund medical research in to conditions affecting babies and children. Action Medical Research also supports work in the fields of premature birth, meningitis, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy, as well as some very rare and distressing conditions that severely affect children.
Speaking afterwards event manager Sarah Stevenson from Action Medical Research said: “This was the first year for DIVA100 and we are so pleased it was such a tremendous success. More than 500 happy, smiling women rode over the finish line and every one seemed to have had a great time. Action Medical Research is very lucky to have Davina's support and we are already looking forward to the 2012 event which will take place next May.”
Davina’s DIVA100 will return in May 2012. For more information and date announcement visit www.action.org.uk/davina100
Action Medical Research will also be running a new women-only route on its popular London to Paris ride in 2012. For details visit www.action.org.uk/l2p
Next month sees the first of two Cycletta mass participation rides and Sky & British Cycling also have all women rides planned for this summer, as does the CTC which recently announced plans for two women only challenge rides, one in Reading next month and the other in Leeds in September.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.