Sir Bradley Wiggins will host a black-tie event in June to help raise funds for a team of cyclists, including several former rugby league players, who are taking part in July’s Race Across Europe in aid of the Steve Prescott Foundation.
The event will take place on the evening of Saturday 16 June at the stadium of St Helens RFC, the club where Prescott, a native of the Lancashire town, spent much of his playing career, reports the St Helens Star.
The former full back was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 2006 and was initially given just months to live.
He passed away in November 2013 at the age of 39 after raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity, including cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats and tackling the Three Peaks on the way.
His fundraising efforts saw him appointed a Member of the British Empire in the 2010 New Year’s Honours.
Following his death, the Man of Steel Award – presented annually to English rugby league’s player of the year – was renamed the Steve Prescott Man of Steel award in his honour.
The eight-man team that will tackle the Race Across Europe which begins on 3 July in Boulogne-sur-Mer includes Prescott’s brother Neil, former rugby league players Evan Dowes, Gareth Ellis, Steve Hall and Steve Hampson, triathletes Phil Ellison and Darren Harrison, and cycling coach Kev Humphries.
The 3,000-mile supported race, modelled on the Race Across America and running for several years now, will see competitors head from the French port to Tarifa on Spain’s Andalusian coast via Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Italy and France, and includes climbs such as the Colle dell’Agnello and Mont Ventoux.
Sponsored by Team K3 Zadara, they hope to set a new record by completing the race in six days and have so far raised more than £12,500 of their £60,000 target on Just Giving.
Wiggins, who lives in Lancashire and is supports rival club Wigan (and not St Helens as we originally said - thank you to those who pointed out the mistake), said: “I am elated to be able to support The Steve Prescott Foundation and this epic challenge. I met Steve at the Sports Personality Awards a few years ago and have always followed his Herculean efforts.
"Sadly Steve is no longer with us but the Prescott family and ambassadors have continued his legacy.
"I am honoured that I can do my bit to help this great charity and it promises to be a fantastic evening.
"I am really looking forward to seeing my friend Steve Hampson on the dancefloor. He definitely shaped better on the rugby pitch,” he added.
Full details of the event and links to buy tickets, priced at £75 each or £700 for a table of 10, can be found here.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.