TV star will ride in Sussex event, new ones added this year in Scotland and Warwickshire

Million Pound Drop Live host Davina McCall is urging Britain’s female cyclists to get involved in the DIVA100 series of rides next month to help raise money for the charity Action Medical Research. McCall herself will take part in the ride in Sussex on 13 May, having ridden in the inaugural edition of the women-only ride last year, while new rides have been added in Kincardine, Scotland, on 20 May, and Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, on 27 May.

Describing herself as “a dedicated convert to road cycling” – McCall was a comparative novice when she took part in the 2010 John O’Groats to Land’s End ride for Sport Relief – the TV presenter says she is “passionate about encouraging more women to take to the saddle.”

She continues: “I’ve been involved with Action Medical Research since I was a little girl, and can certainly vouch for them. This wonderful charity funds research into many diseases and conditions that affect babies and children in the UK.”

All three rides offer a choice of 50km or 100km circular routes, respectively starting from Cowdray Park in Sussex, Kincardine, Scotland, and on Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, with mechanical assistance and well-stocked feed stations included.

Entry to each ride costs £28, with a minimum sponsorship taret of £50. Some 500 women took part in last year’s Sussex ride, raising £95,000 for the Action Medical Research.

Full details of the 2012 rides can be found on the Action Medical Research website.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.