Ex-England rugby captain Martin Johnson is confirmed as the sports celebrity
to take on Geoff Thomas in the Geoff Thomas Pursuit Challenge at the next Revolution
cycling event on Saturday 23rd February.
The event will see the 2003 World Cup winner swapping his rugby jersey for
Lycra as he takes to the track in a feature Italian Pursuit race.
The Italian Pursuit is a slightly different format to the normal Team Pursuit
seen in the Olympics. Johnson will lead a team of six riders who will set off
at the opposite side of the track to Thomas’s team of six. Martin and
Geoff will set the pace initially, racing the first lap after which they will peel off, having completed an
intense 250m effort. Each subsequent rider will lead the team for one lap until
there is only one rider left on each squad who will sprint it out for the line
and glory on the final lap.
The two teams will be evenly balanced, with Olympic Kilo Champion Chris Hoy
and Kilo World Record holder Arnaud Tournant set to be the final man on each
The race has been developed in conjunction with the Revolution event to help
raise awareness and funds for the Geoff Thomas Foundation. The foundation was
set up by ex England footballer Geoff Thomas to help provide the resources to
develop new medical treatments in the fight against leukaemia.
Central to Geoff’s fundraising efforts have been two attempts to ride
the full Tour de France route. The association with the Revolution event will
now help increase awareness of the foundation to the Revolution audience and
Martin Johnson’s involvement will help spread exposure beyond the cycling
Said Geoff; ‘’ I am delighted to be involved in the Revolution series and am
sure the partnership we have will help generate the awareness of the Foundation
and help support the five top Leukaemia centres around the country, one of which
is in Manchester. My interest in cycling as a sport has obviously increased
over the past few years and Revolution is a great way to get everyone involved.
I am really grateful to Martin for giving up his time to support us, and I’m
sure we’ll have a great night whatever the result of the race!’’
Both Geoff and Martin are now planning their preparation with training sessions
scheduled at the Newport Velodrome.
“Having never ridden a bike on the track before I’m quite keen
to have a go before the main event” commented Johnson. “The lack
of brakes is the main concern and I don’t want to make a fool out of myself
so we will have a few sessions at the Velodrome in Newport.”
The Revolution event will take place at the Manchester Velodrome on 23rd February.
Tickets can be bought at www.cyclingrevolution.com
or by calling 0845 686 0105.
For more information on the Geoff Thomas Foundation please go to www.geoffthomasfoundation.com.