65 riders joined a multinational set of rugby stars including Jason Leonard OBE, Peter Rogers, Fran�ois Mounier and JP Doyle - representing four of rugby's big six northern hemisphere nations - at the annual Tour of Cambridgeshire Gran Fondo on Sunday 4th June. Riding in support of the ATLAS Foundation, the charity founded by Leonard in 2015 to fund grassroots projects around the world, the ATLAS peloton raised a total of over £15,000.
Rutland Cycling, Official Retail Partner of the Tour of Cambridgeshire, supported the Foundation for the second year running with free demo bikes, bike fitting and training advice, as well as technical support on site at the Tour and from its Peterborough store 1 mile away. This year, two of the peloton even completed the ride on a tandem!
Jason Leonard said,
Success is measured for most in getting round the 60 or 80 mile route and having fun on the way. People lined the route and ATLAS riders were high-fiving the kids the whole way round - a great experience! This year, the 65 riders raised over £15k for the school the ATLAS Foundation are building in conjunction with Philippe Sella's charity in the Ivory Coast.
The day before, a brave team of four took on the inaugural team time trial and with no practice or experience of team riding, creditably they didn't come last.
Neil Blewitt, organiser of the ATLAS Foundation peloton, summed up the two days:
Sunday sunshine basked the Tour of Cambridgeshire's welcome, hospitality and closed roads for the formation of the second ATLAS peloton. The support from Rutland Cycling for our pros and novices, helping getting them out on the road was fantastic and the tandem for Fran�ois Mounier and his wife was a great hit!
L-R: Sally Pettipher (CEO ATLAS Foundation), Francois Mounier(former French international, played club rugby in Wales with Peter Rogers, also in the line up), Marine Mounier (wife of Francois - rode tandem with him), Jason Leonard OBE (ex England international and World Cup winner - most capped english man ever 114 caps plus 5 caps for British and Irish lions), Neil Blewitt (Atlas cycle event organiser), Peter Rogers (former Welsh international), David Middlemiss (Managing Director Rutland Cycling)