Rugby legend and current President of the Rugby Football Union, Jason Leonard OBE, took on the challenge of riding the 80-mile Tour of Cambridgeshire Gran Fondo, the UK’s first closed-road mass participation cycle race on 5th June in support of the ATLAS Foundation.
The charity was founded by Leonard, along with other rugby and corporate heavyweights, in 2015 to fund grassroots projects around the world through the power of rugby. Rutland Cycling, Official Retail Partner of the Tour of Cambridgeshire, supported Jason and his 30-strong peloton by delivering complimentary bike fits, providing demo bikes for the race and support on site at the Tour and from its Peterborough store 1 mile away.
Following the event, Jason said, "I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the whole Tour of Cambridgeshire experience. I’m not a natural cyclist but Rutland Cycling gave me a bike that they had fitted perfectly. The organisers of the event were warm and welcoming not just to me but to all the ATLAS riders.
"It was great to be a part of something so big and well organised. The start was incredible, lining up with thousands of other cyclists. I’m really grateful to the Tour of Cambridgeshire organisers for offering to help my new ATLAS Foundation and we have raised over £10,000 from a group of 30 riders. Not bad for a first year, and I’m hoping that we will grow our peloton if we’re invited back next year. Rhino Rugby kindly provided us with bespoke branded kit and we named ourselves the Dark Blue Train as we rolled around”
Neil Blewitt, LSEG, organiser of the Atlas Foundation peloton, summed up the two days: “Sunday sunshine basked the Tour of Cambridgeshire’s welcome, hospitality and closed roads for the formation of the inaugural Atlas peloton. Rutland Cycles personal bike fit sessions for the group at London Stock Exchange and their provision of demo bikes encouraged new riders to the Atlas peloton, whilst settled existing riders into comfortable positions on their own rides. I couldn’t have pulled together the peloton without the Tour of Cambridge, Rutland Cycling and Rhino Rugby’s support and commitment to make things happen.”