BBC man to start race

WheelPower, the National Charity for Wheelchair Sport, has said that the BBC’s Buckinghamshire-based Art Editor Will Gompertz (pictured) will start the Tour de Vale Charity Bike Ride at Stoke Mandeville Stadium on Sunday June 9. Will was previously director of Tate Media, and has written extensively for The Guardian and The Times newspapers.

There are three routes (100k, 60k, and 25k) for participants to enjoy across scenic countryside, all in aid of WheelPower to help provide life-changing opportunities for disabled children and adults to play sport and be more active.

The 100k route was designed for experienced cyclists, the 60k is a challenging ride with a few steep hills, and the 25k is a fun ride for all the family, which is free for under 16 year olds.

There are water stops on each route, marshals and support vehicles too to ensure safety.

Kris Aves, who was injured in the terrorist attack on Westminster Bridge, will present medals to all riders who finish the ride.

In March 2017 Kris was returning from a commendation ceremony with the Met police. As he crossed Westminster Bridge he was hit by the car driven by Khalid Massod in an attack which killed five people and injured many. Kris’s injuries put him in a coma for eight days. Both his legs were broken and he had also suffered a head injury, damaged shoulder, sternum and damage to his spinal cord.

The attack left Kris needing to use a wheelchair, and with a permanent spinal injury. Following rehabilitation at Stoke Mandeville, Kris attended the Inter Spinal Unit Games in 2018. Kris won a medal in a nine-ball pool competition and tried many other sports. He is continuing to recover at home with his family and sport is playing an important part in helping him see a positive future after his injury.

Martin McElhatton, Chief Executive of WheelPower said: ‘The Mix96 Tour de Vale is WheelPower’s largest fundraising event and we rely on the generosity of those taking part to help us raise much needed funds to support disabled people and provide life transforming opportunities in sport.

‘By entering the ride people are helping WheelPower but if they can raise some additional funds through sponsorship this is a wonderful way of providing disabled children and adults with the change to access sport. Riders can also buy the Mix96 Tour de Vale cycling jerseys available and every purchase supports the charity.

‘We want everyone to have a safe ride and we are again offering a free of charge bike check on Saturday June 8 at Stoke Mandeville Stadium so your bike is in tip-top condition.’

The Charity Bike Ride raises money for charity WheelPower and every rider is asked to support WheelPower by raising sponsorship for the charity.