Saturday 12th November saw the return of The Rayner Foundation Dinner, the first time we have been able to gather since 2019.
Fair to say it was a big success. Around 280 guests assembled at the New Dock Hall at the Royal Armouries in Leeds. Our host Hannah Walker the well known media commentator introduced World Tour professionals Jake Stewart, Fred Wright, Matt Walls, Ethan Vernon and Lewis Askey. There were plenty of other big names in the room including 20 of our current supported riders.
The first item on the agenda was a tribute to Brian Robinson. President of the Rayner Foundation until his death just a couple of weeks ago. A video of his greatest cycling moments was shown and we all stood to applaud his life and contribution to cycling.
This was followed by a video message from Tom Pidcock and David Millar, just checking in to say hello and sorry not to be there - we are sure they will join us in person when they can.
The Silent Auction running on screens throughout the evening had a wide variety of items which gives everyone an opportunity to bid for something in their price range. Big thanks to everyone who donated..
One of the highlights is always the Live Auction and this was no exception. A new star was discovered in the shape of Calvert Churchill who together with David Standard was roped in at last minute to perform the honours... (Already booked these two for next year)
Four fabulous items went for incredible sums. Jerseys signed by Mathieu van der Poel (from Kalas Belgium) and Tom Pidcock, (donated by himself) The already famous Yellow Tour de France winning Numbers of Team Ineos donated by Luke Rowe & Co and the Majorcan Training Camp Experience donated by Team Ineos themselves.
The Big Guns were up next as the youngsters that were U23 riders only a year or two ago came to the stage to talk about their World Tour careers..
British National Road Race Champion Alice Towers told us about her big win in Scotland and whats happening next for her. Giles Pidcock explained how the new Rayner Foundation Gateway for Juniors scheme works. We also saw the Committee of the Rayner Foundation on stage, an opportunity to see who is who behind the scenes..
A big moment was the Class of 2022. We heard from a few of the riders who described the ups and downs that are inevitable in a seasons racing.
We are proud to say that this season is the most successful ever in terms of riders signing Professional World Tour Contracts. Four riders (and maybe more yet) to look out for on your TV screens next year. Harrison Wood to Team Cofidis, Sean Flynn to Team DSM, Leo Hayter to Team Ineos and Sam Watson to Groupama FDJ. This made the choice of Rider of the Year an extremely difficult one. In the end Sam won out due to his excellent performances including Gent-Wevelgem U23 and National Road Race Title U23.
A special presentation was held to honour our Founder Member and Trustee Keith Lambert.
The Cycling Weekly Award for Lifetime Achievement went to Keith in December 2021. With no actual Awards Dinner being held by them in London we agreed with Simon Richardson, Editor of the magazine, that we could do this at our Dinner instead. It was a great surprise to Keith but we think he appreciated it after he got over the shock !
The evening concluded with live music and plenty of chatter...
Thanks to everyone who came along, we need your support.
Save the date for next years Dinner 11 November 2023.