Jens Voigt, who has to be the most popular road professional racing today, will lead a charity ride in the New Forest next month, although a date has yet to be set. The two-time yellow jersey wearer, now aged 41 and riding for RadioShack Leopard Trek, will be riding in support of the Epilepsy Society.
Ride organizer Stuart Grace (GA Cycles) is the father of Amy, who has suffered with epilepsy, ADHD and learning difficulties for 15 years. Throughout their long-standing friendship with Jens, Stuart and Amy have received support and the German racer has regularly helped to raise money for the cause.
"I'm looking forward to riding in the New Forest and raising a good deal of money for Amy's charity,” said Jens.
The date of the ride has been confirmed as 27 April.
There are a three ways to get involved:
1. Be an individual/company sponsor (minimum £250) and meet Jens the night before the event at an exclusive social gathering.
2. Ride the event, which will cover approximately 50 miles with 200 riders in groups of 16, leaving at five-minute intervals. Jens will leave with the first group and drop back to join the following groups at designated intervals. Groups will ride at about 16-18mph and everyone will have the chance to ride with Jens.
Entry to the ride will cost £100, and includes free food and drink in the event headquarters after the ride, an item signed by Jens, and automatic entry in to a prize draw of cycling goodies from numerous local retailers and Trek. Jens will be available for a chat throughout.
To limit the risk of gatecrashers, the event location will only be sent out 48hrs before the event.
3. Non-riders can apply for a £20 wristband that entitles you to meet Jens back in the headquarters after the ride.
Entry details are available through stuart_singlespeed [at] hotmail.co.uk
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.