Hundreds ride in the Rugby Bikeathon to raise thousands for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research

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CYCLISTS got on their bikes in great numbers on Sunday to help raise funds for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

Around 750 riders of all ages took part in the sponsored event, choosing from ten, 26 or 50- miles routes.

The organisers said the event was around 300 people down compared to last year’s record number of entrants.

Janet Haynes MBE said: “We were a bit disappointed with the attendance, especially after doing so well last year.

“At least the weather was better, with just a bit of drizzle.”

She said the day, which starts from two sites in Newbold and Brandon, went smoothly.

“Everyone was saying it was wonderful,” added Janet.

“There was a lovely, happy atmosphere and everyone enjoyed themselves.”

This year’s event is expected to raise around £40,000 to help in the fight against blood cancers.

“I think the date had something to do with it not being so popular,” Janet added.

“There weren’t as many families taking part. I think they were probably busy with Fathers Day.”

She would like to thank everybody who supported this year’s Bikeathon.

Janet said: “These funds are vital for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.”

Several people who had been diagnosed with blood cancer or whose families had been affected took part.

Among them was Rugby father Matthew Clarke, who cycled 26 miles in honour of his little boy Lewis who is fighting leukaemia. It’s the second year he has taken part.

“I’ve had my own health problems so I didn’t cycle the 50 miles,” he said.

“It’s such a positive thing to do for an amazing charity.”

Matthew paid tribute to event organiser Janet, founder of the Rugby branch of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

“It’s such a well organised event,” he added.

“Janet does amazing work and has done so much for us all.”

If you would like to sponsor Matthew Clarke, visit justgiving.com/ridingforlewis