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Seven former stars of Super League will be among the 23-strong group of riders who set out from the George Hotel, Huddersfield, on Monday August 19 bound for the 2019 Challenge Cup final the hard way.
Over the course of the next five days, the riders will negotiate more than 340 off-road miles through the heart of England, avoiding tarmac wherever possible on bridleways, forest trails, canal towpaths and green lanes.
The gruelling route features over 18,000ft of ascent – the equivalent of cycling uphill from sea level to Everest basecamp – and sees the challenge cross the Pennines, the Peak District, the Cotswolds and the Chiltern Hills.
The riders include two Lance Todd Trophy winners, Denis Betts and Robbie Hunter-Paul, who were men of the match at Wembley in 1991 and 1996; Keith Senior, a Challenge Cup final winner with Sheffield Eagles in 1998; Chris Tuson, who collected a winners’ medal at Wembley with Wigan in 2013; and Nathan McAvoy, who lifted the Challenge Cup with Bradford Bulls in the 2000 Challenge Cup final played at Murrayfield.
“This will be our third UK Red Ride to Wembley and it’s the longest and toughest so far: all the riders can expect a massive test of their fitness, stamina and resolve, as well as lots of fun and banter along the way.
“Just as importantly, the ride is our biggest fundraising venture of the year. In January, we assumed full responsibility for delivering player welfare and the money we raise on the Ride to Wembley will allow us to provide the level of support the players need and deserve.
“We have some brilliant partners in UK Red and Spec Ltd and will be announcing more associate partners in the weeks ahead. Hopefully the Rugby League family will also get behind the ride and show their support for the sport’s heroes.”
Other members of the 2019 Ride to Wembley peloton include Kevin Walton and Dean Bettison from ride title sponsors UK Red Security and Fire; Ian Needham and Danielle Webster from the ride’s principal partner, Spec Ltd; former Wakefield Trinity Chief Executive James Elston, now Managing Director of Yorkshire Boilers; and Amy Derham, Relationship Manager with RL Cares Business Club partners, All Sport Insurance.
RL Cares is a wholly independent charity that makes a positive difference to people involved at every level of the sport. As well as delivering a comprehensive player welfare programme, RL Cares runs successful men’s health programmes that are not just changing lives for the better, but saving them, too.
Please show your support for RL Cares by sponsoring the riders on our Justgiving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ride2wembley2019