The Dave Rayner Fund
Over the last few years, it has become the norm to see riders from the British Isles animating the biggest bike races on the sporting calendar. From the Tour de France to Paris-Roubaix, there is no terrain on which our men and women can now not excel. Many of these riders have taken a path from velodrome to the road, supported by the proven programme that has delivered the many medals of recent Olympic games. For others though, the route to success follows a more traditional path, which for now remains an effective alternative for those that choose it. It is the latter choice that the Dave Rayner fund aims to support aspiring talented riders.
Dave Rayner began his career as a cyclist in the same way as many of today’s aspiring juniors, racing in the UK and demonstrating his talent on the domestic racing scene, taking the 1984 National Junior Road Race championship. Dave faced a stark choice at that point in his career, to stay at home and pursue a career in the UK, or to eschew home comforts (remember, these are the days before the internet, mobile phones and widely spoken English) and pursue a career by winning his way to a pro contract against the best European amateurs on their own turf.
Dave took the latter choice and signed up to ride for the G.S.Porcari-Fanini-Berti Team where his alumni included Mario Cippolini and from there his career flew, reaching its peak with a stint in the leading Buckler Team, who today would be part of the World Tour.
After his tragic death, the cycling community wanted to support his memory by giving other young riders the chance to follow in Dave’s footsteps and since then over £600,000 in grants has been given to riders to enable them to race abroad.
Among the riders supported have been Dave Millar (one of the very first recipients of a grant), through to more recent champions like Adam Yates.