The 2020 racing season has been different, to say the least, but that hasn’t stopped the Dave Rayner Gala from going ahead with the fund raising event set to take place online on Saturday, November 14.
The dinner and auction was due to take place at New Dock Hall in the city of Leeds, with hundreds of guests set to be invited to celebrate the 2020 season and remember Dave Rayner, who had his life cut tragically short at the age of 27 in 1994.
The COVID-19 pandemic, national wide lockdowns in England, and rules prohibiting social gatherings and public events have lead to the Rayner Fund Gala organizers moving their event online, and while there will not be a constant video stream the Rayner social media channels will be updated with short video messages from riders past and present.
This year’s Giro d’Italia winner Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers) and Hannah Barnes (Canyon SRAM) – both of whom benefited from the Rayner Fund earlier in the careers – are set to support the event with organisers of the Rayner Fund set to post video messages from both riders during the evening.
As always there will also be an auction during the night with all items available for bidding during the course of a week. Interactions are welcome using the hashtags #daveraynerfund and #RaynerDinner2020, while donations can be made on the Dave Rayner Fund website.
“One year ago the Dave Rayner Fund made a huge step forward,” Joscelin Ryan, who is part of the Fund, told Cyclingnews.
“After existing for 25 years the Fund was successful in achieving charity status. We also welcomed support from the Rapha Foundation who are actively funding young riders via several initiatives. Unfortunately, 2020 did not go to plan. Restrictions meant little or no racing for some of our riders and no Gala Dinner in Leeds.
“On the other hand, we have enjoyed watching the best ever performance from a Rayner supported rider when Tao Geoghegan Hart won the Giro d’Italia. We wanted to celebrate this and let everyone know that we are still in business by holding the dinner online.
"Cycling fans can follow along on our social media platforms, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Look out for special video messages during the evening from our Guests of Honour, our riders, and supporters. You can take part by posting photos and messages of support too.”
The online event starts at 5pm GMT and while there is no constant stream to follow the organisers will post regular videos and present this year’s Rider of The Year Award.
Along with Geoghegan Hart and Barnes, the Fund has helped a flurry of young riders during the early steps of their careers, including Adam Yates, David Millar, Molly Weaver and Charly Wegelius.
This is the special Facebook page for the virtual event: The Rayner Foundation Virtual Dinner 2020.
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Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.
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