A new book that recalls the life and career of Dave Rayner has gone on sale to coincide with the 21st anniversary of the Dave Rayner Fund dinner, which takes places in the United Kingdom this weekend. The fund, set up after the tragic death of Rayner in 1994, has helped a host of British riders over the years find their feet in European racing including David Millar, Charly Wegelius and Adam and Simon Yates.
Written by Peter Cossins and titled Everybody's Friend -The life and career of Dave Rayner 1967-1994 and written by his legacy to cycling, the book traces the life of Rayner and his incredible success in the UK racing scene. All profits from the book will be donated to the Dave Rayner Fund.
Cossins has spoken to Rayner’s family and friends, with Mario Cipollini also recalling special memories of the two years he raced with Rayner in Tuscany.
Rayner moved to Italy as a Junior and was hugely successful before returning to Britain and turning professional. He went to ride for the powerful Buckler team managed by Jan Raas and later raced in the USA and Britain. Tragically, in November 1994, just five weeks after getting married, Dave Rayner died following an assault in a Bradford nightclub. He was just 27.
The Rayner funds helps British riders who now follow in Rayner’s footstep and race across Europe in pursuit of a successful professional career.
David Millar was one of the early riders to benefit from the Fund after he sent a letter to the Fund at the tail end of 1995. He was selected for a season’s backing in 1996. He moved to France and rode for VC St-Quentin before landing a professional contract with Cofidis in 1997.
“With the Rayner fund it felt like you were getting some kind of backing from your homeland,” Millar told Cyclingnews last year.
“To be honest the majority of the people in British Cycling weren’t strong advocates for heading straight over to the continent. It went against the grain of the system so the Rayner Fund was a form of affirmation for a lot of young guys who wanted to go across and become continental pros.”
600 people are set to attend this year’s Dave Rayner Fund dinner in Leeds, in the heart of Yorkshire. Special guests including Tour de France stage winner Steve Cummings, Adam Yates, Owain Doull, Pete Williams, Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, Russ Downing and Scott Thwaites.
A special raffle and a live auction will again help raise funds, with signed jerseys from the likes of Chris Froome, Peter Sagan and Lizzie Armitstead plus VIP experiences from Team Sky going to the highest bidder. Last year's dinner raised close to £25,000 to help riders selected by the Dave Rayner Fund.
The book can be bought online for £10.00 via the Dave Rayner Fund at this link: www.daveraynerfund.co.uk/book/
Click here to learn more about the Dave Rayner Fund and to make a donation.