Are you up for an almighty challenge? Join Leeds Cares for an epic 8-day cycling challenge from Innsbruck to Leeds to raise money for a great local cause.
The UCI Road World Cycling Championships are coming to Yorkshire in September, and to celebrate, the official fundraising partner Leeds Cares has come up with a once-in-a-lifetime cycling trip. You’ll head out to Innsbruck, the host of last year’s competition, to embark on a staggering 650-mile, 8-day journey across five European countries. Your epic adventure will bring you back to Leeds via Harrogate, this year’s host city. Up for it? Sign up now…
Take on the ultimate challenge as you ride through 650 miles of European countryside
You don’t need to be a hardcore cyclist to take part, you just need to be fit, enthusiastic and ready to cycle around 100 miles per day. Leeds Cares has teamed up with Sport Ecosse to plan the route, logistics and support system.
It kicks off in Innsbruck Saturday 24th August 2019. You’ll have time to explore the historic Austrian city before you head out the following morning. UCI officials will be on hand at the start line and you’ll carry the UCI rainbow flag throughout as a symbol of the changing of hosts. From there you’ll ride 95 miles to Memmingen, across the German border, tackling the biggest single climb of the journey at around 2,000 feet.
That’s the worst bit out of the way nice and early – you only have another 4,500-foot to climb the rest of the way to the port in Belgium. The next day, you’ll follow the Iller River north past Ulm and into Stuttgart on a largely downhill route surrounded by stunning scenery. From here, it’s a 110-mile ride to Mainz, just outside Frankfurt, where you can admire the German countryside alongside the River Rhine. You’ll carry on alongside it the next day for 90 miles up to Cologne, before you tick off three countries in one day with a brief ride through The Netherlands and on into Belgium – you’ll soon see why these countries are known as the Lowlands, with flat and easy cycling for 100 miles.
The penultimate day of your trip will see you head east to the coast from Antwerp into Zeebrugge for 80 miles along an equally flat route, until you reach the port. From here, you’ll take an overnight ferry to Hull for the final leg of this epic excursion. Your last day is an almost leisurely 90 miles – you’ll be joined by a string of pro cyclists as you take the scenic route back to Leeds via Harrogate, where the finish line and fanzone of this year’s UCI Road World Cycling Championships are. You can then expect a warm welcome as you arrive into Millennium Square on Saturday 31st August 2019.
Up for the challenge? Here’s what you need to know…
They’ve gone all out to make the experience unforgettable, so if you sign up to the Innsbruck to Leeds Cycle, you won’t have to worry about a thing. Your transport and hotel stays are all included, as is food and drink. You’ll get three meals a day, with snacks in between – expect loaded plates of pasta and potatoes, alongside meat, eggs, veggies and fruit to keep your body in tip-top condition.
For the ride itself, you’ll be accompanied by two support vehicles and four support staff, including a cycle leader and a bike mechanic. They’ll also provide first aid, training plans and public liability insurance. Of course, you’ll have to bring your own bike, helmet and riding gear, but they’ll send you a suggested packing list to help you prepare, including things like suncream, because it’s likely to be a sunny summer trip.
So how do you sign up and when do you have to do it? The official deadline is Wednesday 24th July 2019, but they only have 10 places left, so if you want in, you’ll have to be quick. There are two ways to sign up and they both help to raise funds for Leeds Cares. As the official charity partner of Leeds Teaching Hospitals, they help to save lives by raising money for new equipment, clinical trials and services, so it’s a great cause.
You can either Fundraise All or Self Fund. If you choose the former, you’ll pay a £200 registration fee and commit to raise another £2,500 to cover the costs of the trip and make a donation to Leeds Cares. If you choose the latter, you’ll pay £1,500 on top of the registration fee and help raise £1,000 to go directly to Leeds Cares. Whichever you choose, you’ll have a once-in-a-lifetime experience and make a real difference to people’s lives – you can even choose what the money you raise is spent on, whether it’s the neonatal wards, the Cancer Centre or the Leeds Children’s Hospital directly.
The Innsbruck to Leeds Cycle takes place from Saturday 24th to Saturday 31st August 2019.