Event: 5 May 2013
Despite the delayed appearance of any sunshine in Europe, the Spring Classics are almost over. This means only one thing – we’re into Grand Tour season. The famous Giro d’Italia starts on 4 May and as anyone who follows British cycling knows, this race is Sir Bradley Wiggins’ target to follow his 2012 successes.
However Napoli won’t be the only place with a start line next month, as the inaugural Ellis50 takes place on May 5th. Whilst Team Sky have set themselves an ambitious target, it could be argued that the riders lining up to take on 50 miles through Hertfordshire face as tough a challenge. Entrants range from those jumping back on a bike after a 20 year absence from the sport, to teams of colleagues risking their hard-earned reputations following months of inter-office rivalry. Just as for Nibali, Gesink and defending champion Ryder Hesjedal in Italy, the stakes are high.
"By fortunate coincidence, pink was Ellis’ favourite colour and the entrants to her ride are asked to wear their own Maglia Rosa on the day."
Ellis' 50 Miler ride organiser
Starting from Golding’s Estate in Hertord, the route takes in the beautiful countryside and villages of the county. The ride features individual timing, free fuel stops provided by generous sponsors and a mechanic to solve any arising issues. Stoking up the competition, there is a timed hill hidden on the course. But no matter what time you clock, all entrants will be welcomed into the finish village with a cheer, a beer and a BBQ.
The inaugural Ellis50 event has already proved a massive hit in the area with over 300 riders already signed up - an impressive statistic for Event Manager Billie Shorten’s Palmares. Billie lost her younger sister Ellis to Osteosarcoma five years ago and since then she has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for children’s cancer charities including Teenage Cancer Trust and the Skeletal Cancer Action Trust. The ride is scheduled for what would have been Ellis’ 21st Birthday, ensuring the finish line will be equally emotional and celebratory.
By fortunate coincidence, pink was Ellis’ favourite colour and the entrants to her ride are asked to wear their own Maglia Rosa on the day. No doubt that following a few recovery drinks and a well earned bath, the Ellis50 riders will spending the rest of the month cheering Wiggo on to winning a certain pink jersey of his own.
About the charity - The Ellis Harriet Clark Foundation
Aged just twelve years old, Ellis was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma which is the most common form of bone cancer. Just one month after her 16th Birthday, Ellis lost her battle against this disease.
In memory of Ellis, the Ellis Harriet Clark Foundation was founded with the aim of making the lives of children suffering with cancer a little easier.