Starley Sportive returns for summer date

Riders in a popular Coventry and Warwickshire charity cycling event will be swapping thermals for shorts as they saddle up for its first ever summer date.

The Starley Sportive makes its return on Sunday, September 19 after a year hiatus – with £10,000 being raised despite the event not being able to take place in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic.

The event, which is organised by Coventry Road Club, the Deeley Group and Coventry City Council’s GoCV team, usually takes place early in the year but 2021 will see its debut summer time event and organisers are expecting it to be more popular than ever.

Around 700 riders are expected to take part and funds raised from entrants will be primarily donated to Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice and University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire Charity. However participants are encouraged to raise money for any causes of personal significance.

Riders will set off from the Deeley Group head office on Herald Avenue, Coventry, and have the choice of challenging three distances – a 28.6 mile route, a 63.2 mile long-distance ride, or the mammoth 86.5 mile challenge.

Participants who kindly donated their entry fees following the cancellation of last year’s event will be given priority entry for this year’s sportive.

Edward Hudson, Business Development Manager at the Deeley Group, said: “We’re excited to be launching the first summer Starley Sportive event and looking forward to welcoming back riders after the unavoidable cancellation of last year’s event.

“On behalf of all of the organisers, we would like to thank partners and riders who donated to the event in 2020 and enabled us to continue our support for local causes – particularly in a time where fundraising has proved challenging for charities.

“Cycling is a great way to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and supports both physical and mental health – which is particularly prevalent now following a difficult 12 months.

“We return in a landmark year for the Deeley Group as the business turns 85, and also for the city as Coventry celebrates being UK City of Culture and are looking forward to being part of the celebrations.”

The sportive celebrates the contributions of inventors James and John Kemp Starley to the bicycle industry.

James Starley is known as the father of the bicycle industry, while his nephew John Kemp Starley is widely regarded as the inventor of the modern bicycle – both lived and worked in Coventry.

Ian Court, Racing Secretary at Coventry Road Club, added: “We were bowled over the generosity of people last year in allowing us to maintaining our charitable donations to Zoe’s Place through their fees even though we were unable to hold the event.

“Normally the event is in February so hopefully this year it will be a bit warmer and those taking part will have a few more miles in their legs!”

Early bird entry is now open for riders who donated their entry fees in 2020 – with general entry open from April 4.

For more information and took book a place at the Starley Sportive visit www.starleysportive.co.uk