The annual Dave Rayner Fund dinner again raised a considerable sum to help talented young British riders compete internationally, with the 2016 crop of riders and other former Dave Rayner Fund beneficiaries celebrated during the Gala dinner held in Leeds, Yorkshire.
The Dave Rayner Fund was set up in memory of cyclist Dave Rayner, whose life and professional career was cruelly cut short in 1994. The fund aims to support young British riders aspiring to make it as professionals. Riders such as David Millar, Charly Wegelius, Dan Martin, Ian Stannard, Adam Yates and Nikki Harris have all benefited from the fund, which has distributed over £700,000 worth of grants over the years.
Many of the recent recipients of the Dave Rayner fund attended this year’s dinner, including Dan McLay and Owain Doull who are now successful in the professional peloton. Brian Robinson -the first British rider to ride the Tour de France and to win a stage again showed his support, as did Tour de Yorkshire organiser Gary Verity, with John and Barbara Rayner thanking everyone who attended.
Clothing company Prendas Ciclismo continued their support, confirming they have donated £18,000 to the fund since 2014. Prendas Ciclismo and Santini have now recreated the Raleigh Banana kit that Dave Rayner raced in when based in Britain. Last year the biography of Dave Rayner's life and career was published to inspire the next generation.
The annual auction again raised a significant amount thanks to jersey donations from world champion Peter Sagan, Laura and Jason Kenny, Lizzie Deignan, Mark Cavendish and Adam Yates. David Millar, Team Sky, the Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour de France all offered VIP packages to auction and further boost the Dave Rayner fund for 2017.
The Dave Rayner Fund rider of the year award went to two riders, with Tao Geoghegan Hart and James Shaw sharing the prize and recognition for their success and progress in 2016. Geoghegan Hart will join Team Sky in 2017 after another strong season with the Axeon Hagens Berman team. 20 year-old Shaw rode for the Lotto-Soudal under 23 team and will progress to the WorldTour team in 2017 thanks to taking fifth in the under 23 Liege-Bastogne-Liege.