Scott Sunderland may have made the move from professional racer to team manager, but that has not stopped him from riding. Sunderland, who helped mastermind Carlos Sastre's Tour de France triumph last summer, will be back in the saddle for the London-Paris Cycling Pro-Am, a 520km Tour de France-style endurance event for amateur and cyclosportive riders on June 25-28.
"I'm really looking forward to getting back on the bike and returning to riding," said Sunderland, the former sporting director at Team CSC-Saxo Bank. "Cycling is enjoying a huge surge in popularity in the UK, following the success of British Cycling in Beijing and I'm proud to be taking part in what is Britain's top cyclosportive."
Sunderland, an Australian based in Belgium, will ride alongside ex-Tour de France winner, Stephen Roche. As a boy from the New South Wales bush, Sunderland worked double shifts in an abattoir to fund his early cycling career. He competed in the world's biggest events until suffering horrific injuries in the Amstel Gold World Cup race in 1998. He sustained a double blood clot on the brain and after five hours of neurosurgery to save his life, Sunderland fought his way back to fitness and competitive racing.
"We are thrilled to have someone of Scott's stature riding this year," said London-Paris 09 director Sven Thiele. "He is an inspirational team leader, who won cycling's Holy Grail when CSC triumphed in the Tour in 2008. It will be fantastic for our riders to participate alongside someone of Scott's calibre."
This year's event will benefit the Geoff Thomas Foundation (a leukemia charity set up by former England footballer Geoff Thomas), Christel House, Schools for Children of Cambodia and South Africa's Morning Star which works with children with HIV.