Rugby League

28 Aug 2021

Leigh to Newcastle Charity Bike Ride

Leigh to Newcastle Charity Bike Ride

Leigh Centurions owner Derek Beaumont and his wife Laura, along with Club shirt sponsor and Leisure Resorts owner Gary Molloy, will team up with staff and friends to take a squad of 13 on a road bike ride from Leigh Sports Village to St James' Park in Newcastle next Saturday (September 4). 

Laura presented the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup to Featherstone Rovers captain James Lockwood at Wembley in July, and the RFL hopes that supporters of Betfred Championship and League 1 clubs will join those from the Super League in getting behind the daunting challenge - which is in aid of Cancer Research and forms part of their fundraising activity and novelty shirt for the Betfred Super League Dacia Magic Weekend.

The group have replicated the novelty rugby shirt into a cycling shirt (pictured below) for the challenge and to showcase some of the businesses sponsoring the event. Other sponsors will be displayed on the sides of the 18 ton lorry and panel van support vehicles.

The idea and design comes from club owner Derek Beaumont, who lost his father last June to a rare blood cancer that saw him receive a two week prognosis after believing treatment was working, only to actually survive for two days. The shirt is designed based around a shirt his father often wore as a bit of a tease and one that was worn at his funeral.

The challenge comprises 142 miles and around 8,500ft of climb and will be completed in the day, with the group aiming to arrive at St James' Park ahead of the day’s final fixture between Leeds Rhinos and Hull FC.

Derek Beaumont said: “It’s the longest individual ride for everyone in the group. Four of the group (myself, Miles, Gary and Chris) completed the NC500 in five days last October which was a tough challenge. But this is an additional 42 miles in the same day to the 100 a day we did for that, and we have had to train very hard in preparation.”

Laura,  in particular, is embarking on a massive personal challenge, having started only three weeks ago with a hybrid bike, only receiving her road bike a week ago with her longest training ride to date being only 60 miles. Her personal training came to a sudden halt last Friday when a fall from her bike in Astley saw her knocked unconscious and having to be taken to hospital to be checked out, having suffered concussion.

Derek added: “Laura has been really determined and has put a lot of effort into the training. We had a few days off in the week and were having a short 25-mile section early Friday evening ahead of a planned 100 mile ride the following morning. 

"To push the pace, I rode on and waited for her at intersections. When I got to Holden Road, and she didn’t arrive I got a little concerned and thought she may have a puncture, so I tried to call her, only for a male to answer her phone. My heart sank fearing the worst,  especially when he identified himself as a police officer. 

"I rode back to find a member of the public who was a nurse caring for her and not really knowing where she was. The police officer was excellent, having passed by and stopped to assist. I can’t thank the lady and her husband enough, bringing blankets and hot water bottles and ensuring Laura was okay whilst awaiting the paramedics, to whom we are also grateful. Fortunately, there is no lasting damage, and it hasn’t dented her determination to continue with the challenge.

"Despite Laura and me no longer being able to take on the 100-mile training ride, Neil Jukes (Centurions former Head Coach and player) along with fellow former player Sean Richardson went ahead and completed the ride, but that was also eventful. Sean came flying off his bike on a roundabout, fortunately not needing medical attention, just a dented ego and bumps and scrapes!"

The training is stepping up this week before a few days rest ahead of the challenge. The group is aiming to raise £50,000 for Cancer Research and would like to thank everyone who has donated or sponsored so far. 

Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so on the just giving page by clicking HERE