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Rapha Foundation announces £575,000 to support four grassroots cycling initiatives

Huge cash boost for the Rayner Foundation, Herne Hill Velodrome Trust, Helen100 and the Cyclists’ Alliance

The Rayner Foundation (formerly the Dave Rayner Fund), Herne Hill Velodrome Trust (HHVT) and Helen100 have this evening been announced as the recipients of a total of $750,000 in funding (£575,000) provided by the Rapha Foundation for grassroots cycling initiatives in the UK and Europe.

They join five US-based grantees already awarded funds under the initiative, which was set up last year by the London-based cycle clothing company’s founder and CEO, Simon Mottram, and Wal-Mart heirs Steuart and Tom Walton whose investment firm bought a majority share of the business in 2018.

Through their family’s charity foundation, the brothers have financed a network of mountain bike trails in Arkansas, the home state of Wal-Mart, which has its headquarters in Bentonville.

Announcing the recipients of the grants ahead of a reception at Herne Hill Velodrome in South London this evening, Mottram said: “I am extremely proud to announce the next group of organisations who will get funding from the Rapha Foundation, this time close to home.

“When we first discussed the Rapha Foundation helping young and disadvantaged riders getting into racing, it was organisations like The Rayner Foundation and the amazing work of Helen Wyman that we had in mind.

“Herne Hill is an iconic facility for those of us who live in London and we are excited to help them reach more of their local community.”

Here are details of the four grantees:


The Helen100 foundation is about creating and developing opportunities for young women in cyclocross. We feel that young women have been neglected in cyclocross for far too long and if we want to keep women in sport these youth, junior and u23 riders need to be nurtured and developed in the same way their male peers have for many years. We aim to grow this very new junior category through every aspect of the sport including:

• Provide coaching clinics with inspirational professional cyclocross racers across the world

• Provide opportunities for racers to compete against each other at the highest levels through the Helen100 trophy series at international events

• Provide grants to assist with travel to young women selected for the world championships from countries where funding is limited

• Provide a platform for riders to interact with their peers to help build a community

• Reimburse entry fees for every female UK rider under 23 years of age racing the national cyclocross championships

With this input from the Rapha foundation the Helen100 has already started in this process. We had 61 riders from 14 nations in our junior race in Loenhout, Belgium last Christmas.

Every winner of the Helen100 individual rounds and overall series represented their countries at the inaugural junior women’s world championships in January 2020.

To us this shows the value of investing in equal opportunities for all young people in cyclocross and without this funding we wouldn’t be able assist these young riders to realise their dreams.

Herne Hill Velodrome Trust (HHVT)

The historic Herne Hill Velodrome in South London, which has served the cycling community since 1891 and featured in the 1948 London Olympics, provides a track and off-road cycling venue for thousands of riders every year.

HHVT is the charity that manages the running of the site, working hard to prioritise availability and affordability of the opportunities to ride at Herne Hill. The Rapha Foundation grant will be provided over three years and will be used to employ a new youth development officer, to coach young riders and to reach out into the local community, as well as support the other development roles already in place at the Velodrome.

The grant will also be used to renovate the entranceway to the site, to improve the experience for the riders, their families and their friends.

Rayner Foundation (formerly known as the Dave Rayner Fund)

A foundation that provides support to young cyclists as they begin their careers, The Rayner Foundation numbers many well-known names from the pro peloton among its beneficiaries, including Adam Yates, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Hannah Barnes and Dan Maclay.

The fund was set up in memory of professional cyclist Dave Rayner in 1995 who died suddenly aged 27. The funds received will be used for rider support, and expenses associated with running the Fund. The Rapha Foundation will provide funding over a three-year period.

The Cyclists’ Alliance

Established to protect the interests of women cyclists, the Cyclists’ Alliance lobbies for improved career and economic prospects, fairness and equality and support both during and after women’s cycling careers.

The organisation was set up by former pro cyclist Iris Slappendel, who recognised a need for a support structure to represent women cyclists through their careers.

The grant from the Rapha Foundation will help expand the services already offered by the Cyclists’ Alliance while providing marketing resources to raise awareness of the organisation on a global level. Funding will be provided over a three-year period.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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