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Event: 2 June 2013


This year Help for Heroes have introduced an even more challenging element to their cycling portfolio in the form of the .

The riders will depart from 2am on Sunday 2 June to reach Blackheath later that morning and join the rest of the 2013 Hero Ride for the final 10 miles into central London.

The 100-mile Dawn Raid route, which is being supported by Andy Cook Cycling, will take 250 riders through Wiltshire, Hampshire and Surrey to the iconic Box Hill, retracing the tracks of the London 2012 Olympic Road Race heroes, before taking a turn into south London and dropping to the finish at Blackheath Common.

Although the route is relatively flat, with just 648 metres of climbing, it is designed for competent cyclists who thrive in a timed challenge, will enjoy the adventure of night-time riding and will have enough energy left at the end for the 10 mile Hero Ride London grand finale from Blackheath to the Horse Guards Parade. There will be pit stops en route to help riders refuel and a full meal on arrival at Blackheath.

Triple silver medallist and cycling Paralympian Jon Allan-Butterworth, who was severely injured whilst serving in Iraq in 2007 and has been supported by Help for Heroes since, said: “I’ve seen first-hand how the money raised for Help for Heroes can change people’s lives and Hero Ride provides an opportunity for the British public to get behind our troops whilst also challenging themselves to do something different.

“Despite the landscape changing for our troops as we withdraw from Afghanistan, the support for this great cause cannot stop. It would a fantastic show of solidarity for as many people as possible to get involved with Hero Ride, whether they are participating, fundraising or lining the streets of London in June.”

Olympic cyclist Mark Cavendish, who has recently become a Help for Heroes Patron, said: “I have seen first-hand the great work that Help for Heroes do and I’m a passionate supporter of the charity. Hero Ride is a very special project to me because it engages the sport I love for a greater cause. Get on your bike and set yourself a challenge – whether it is to ride 10, 100 or 1,000 miles - join Help for Heroes in London on 2 June for the grand finale.”

In keeping with the military tradition, the route will set off from the Help for Heroes run Recovery Centre, Tedworth House in Wiltshire, where wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women are helped with their recovery.

Speaking of the challenge, David Richmond, Head of Recovery at Help for Heroes and also a keen cyclist,, said: “At Help for Heroes we are really excited about Dawn Raid. It is the charity’s first ever sportive designed with confident cyclists in mind that offers a very different type of challenge, great scenery and an adventure of a lifetime.

“Cycling is one of the most popular sports our wounded use for recovery and has already produced two World Champions – Jon-Allan Butterworth and Tel Byrne. Jon-Allan went on to win three silver medals at the 2012 London Paralympic Games and will be riding from Paris to Blackheath as part of the Hero Ride.

“Through the Battle Back programme, we work closely with British Cycling and the British Paralympic Association to identify future cycling stars and some of our wounded based at Headley Court have also used Box Hill for cycling for rehab. Participants will be able to challenge themselves alongside some of our wounded who will be taking part in the sportive.”

While many of the riders will be loyal Help for Heroes supporters, all newcomers to the charity are welcome, irrespective of fundraising experience. All you need is to register online, put in the training and help us raise £1 million for our heroes by pledging to fundraise at least £1 for every mile you ride.

To find out more about the Hero Ride and to register for Dawn Raid, visit www.heroride.org.uk Places are limited and are filling up fast, so register today to avoid disappointment.

ROUTE OVERVIEW
Leaving Tedworth House in Tidworth, the riders will climb up onto Perham Down to ensure that they warm up quickly. They will then pass by the famous Thruxton motor racing circuit before crossing Andover and picking up the glorious Test Valley. They will carry on through Whitchurch and Overton before skirting under Basingstoke. Maintaining a military theme the ride will then pass the Odiham airfield and cross the Basingstoke canal after traversing the North Hampshire Downs. Prior to Aldershot the route takes the riders over Burn's Plain and past the Royal Pavillion before crossing Aldershot town. Riders will pass under the military ranges and head north of Guildford before crossing the River Wey. After Ripley, the route will take in Effingham Junction, pass through Great Bookham and take the quiet scenic route to West Humble nestled under the North Downs. The riders will then cross the A24 before commencing the climb of Box Hill made famous by the 2012 Olympic Road Race. They will then descend down through the Chipstead Valley towards Purley and on to Croyden. The route will climb up past Selhurst Park, the home of Crystal Palace Football Club, up to the radio mast before passing Sydenham, Catford and Lewisham and dropping to the finish at Blackheath Common.