All of the riders have benefited from life supporting organ transplants, either kidney, liver or heart and are only riding and racing because of the altruism of others. In contrast to the drug scandals engulfing the pro peloton and in particular the recent Armstrong revelations, these riders show the positive effect clever doctors and modern medicine can have when combined with brave donors. They have the slightly dubious honour of disqualification if found negative for drugs... :)
The objective of the team is to raise awareness of the success of organ donation and encourage people to consider joining the organ donor register. On average 3 people die every day waiting for a transplant and whilst over 90% of the population think organ donation is a good idea, only 30% have actually joined. We want to close that gap.
The team, which is drawn from all over the UK and ranges from 16 – 62, is
Richard Smith (liver)
Simon Ripley (heart)
John Leveson (liver)
Gerald Brown (liver)
Gavin Giles (kidney)
Bob Jolliffe (kidney)
Declan Logue (kidney)
Ottilie Quince (kidney)
Mel Slaney (kidney)
Di Higman (liver)
Zoe Dixon (kidney)
Fidelma Hodgkinson (kidney)
Beth Morris (kidney)
The team have had great success in past British, European and World transplant games and whilst there are a number of riders new to the team there are some old hands too. Both Richard Smith and Ottilie Quince are the current holders of the world titles in both road race and time trial disciplines from the last world games in Gothenburg, Sweden 2011.
Most riders are active in their local cycling scenes throughout the UK engaging in track, circuit and road racing as well as the ubiquitous club time trials!
The team are self-funded but are supported by a Level 3 British Cycling qualified coach, an exercise scientist and Pete Hudson, a psychologist specialising in helping riders go faster. The team are fund raising via Just Giving http://www.justgiving.com/GBtransplantcyclingteam
You can follow the team @GBTxCyclists on Twitter and GB Transplant Cyclists on Facebook.
Notes for editors
World Transplant Games info http://www.wtgf.org/
19th World Transplant Games in Durban info http://www.wtg2013.com/
Transplant Sport info http://www.transplantsport.org.uk/
For further information contact Richard Smith (email@example.com or 07799 767930 and, most importantly, please sign up and save lives… https://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/how_to_become_a_donor/registration/consent.asp