20TH FRED WHITTON CHALLENGE
After 20 years of the ride, The Fred Whitton Challenge reached a significant milestone in its history, with the tremendous help of the riders and the surplus on the event, the ride has now reached a total of One Million Pounds raised for its main charity Macmillan Cancer Support.
After the first event in memory of their teammate and friend, The Lakes Road Club had 70 riders taking part and raised just £1,000 pounds for Macmillan Nurses as it was named then, since then the total numbers of riders has grown to 2,650, with the same amount of riders waiting for a reserve place.
In recent years the event has given the charity an average of just over £100,000 each year.
Along with this, the event has shared the donation of £608,000 to the two Air Ambulances in Cumbria, The Mountain Rescue and Various youth Cycling projects. After 15 years Starting and Finishing in Coniston, the event moved to the iconic sporting arena at Grasmere Sports Ground and has proved extremely popular, with over 5,000 riders applying for just over 2,500 places. This year the ride had participants from Holland, Norway, Spain, Belgium, France, Russia, Switzerland, and two riders made the trip all the way from Australia especially to ride in the event.
The Fred Whitton Challenge was the first Cycle Sportive in the UK and is now regarded as the hardest one-day cycling event in the British Isles, it also has the title of ‘The Daddy of Them All’ by all the British cycling press.
What started off as a club ride for a friend, has grown to be one of the most famous cycling events in Europe, never in our wildest dreams did we think the event would be still running after 20 years and would generate such a fantastic amount of donations for our Special Charities.
Paul Loftus MBE
President of The Fred Whitton Challenge
Photo by Mia Boyd.
‘Some of the 300 Fred Whitton volunteers with our friend from Russia (with bike) Million Pound presentation Grasmere Show Ground’