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Award winning cycling event could be cancelled

PUBLISHED: 07:17 06 November 2019 | UPDATED: 09:16 06 November 2019

An estimated 1,000 competitors take part in the Diss Cyclathon. Photo:Lucy Begbie

An estimated 1,000 competitors take part in the Diss Cyclathon. Photo:Lucy Begbie

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It has raised more than £40,000 for charity and encouraged hundreds to get riding.

Diss Cyclathon is in need of new organisers. Photo: Diss Town Council.Diss Cyclathon is in need of new organisers. Photo: Diss Town Council.

But the Diss Cyclathon is in danger of being cancelled as organisers step down.

The event raises around £10,000 every year by 1,000 riders as the south Norfolk town is transformed into a cycling centre.

There are three routes available of 25, 50 or 100 miles as well as family rides of five, 10 or 15 miles, with the aim to get everyone on two wheels.

Neil Collins founded the ride alongside Jess Cook, and Alan Franks. But with work commitments and moving away from the area, they have had to hand over the reins.

The Diss Cyclathon 2017. Picture: Diss CyclathonThe Diss Cyclathon 2017. Picture: Diss Cyclathon

Mr Collins, 50, said: "We set it up about four years ago out of a market town initiative creating Diss events that would pull people into the town.

"It's a lot of work and effort each year as we all live busy working lives and we have moved away from Diss and are looking for someone take it forward."

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The award winning ride's success has been down to making it accessible for all and promoting it to families.

Diss Cyclathon is in need of new organisers. Photo: Diss Town Council.Diss Cyclathon is in need of new organisers. Photo: Diss Town Council.

The software company director added: "Events are a strange beast.

"Getting the people who ride 100 miles to come was easy but we needed to appeal to young people, women and riders who may of thought 'I can ride five miles' and giving the right support to make it a great family event with people coming back.

"There are great cycling roads around and in Diss with some lovely quiet country roads."

The ride supports local charities, schools and clubs with thousands donated. It is this work that has kept the organisers so passionate.

"The stress and anguish of organising the event was all worth it when we could support local charities," Mr Collins added.

"We have been able to supply bikes to youngsters at Roydon schools and provide support for the Diss Athletics Club. It's just absolutely fantastic to see."

Anyone interested in becoming an organiser should contact thomas.page@CyclingUK.org for more information.

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