ARK Cancer Centre Charity is calling on supporters to saddle up for the first-ever virtual Prudential RideLondon.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of the world’s greatest festival of cycling – but it will now take place virtually on August 15 and 16 (the event weekend) to celebrate cycling and raise funds to help save the UK’s charities.

Like many other charities, Ark Cancer Centre Charity has been hugely impacted by the pandemic as fundraising events like Prudential RideLondon have been either postponed or cancelled.

My Prudential RideLondon offers Ark supporters, of all ages and abilities, the opportunity to take part in a fantastic challenge and raise crucial funds for our charity.

It is an exciting, free event that can be done anywhere in the world. It offers people the chance to tackle a range of distances based on the events included in the traditional Prudential RideLondon weekend.

Hugh Brasher, director of Prudential RideLondon, said: “After the disappointment of the cancellation of Prudential RideLondon, we were determined to create something special for our riders, partners and the hundreds of charities that rely on the event for vital income.

“My Prudential RideLondon is building on the success of The 2.6 Challenge – created following the postponement of the London Marathon – which became the biggest collective fundraising effort in the world involving nearly 4,000 charities.

“Charities desperately need help to continue to provide vital services to every sector of society and fund critical research. In this socially distanced world, it’s also vitally important to encourage people to get on two wheels rather than use public transport. The My Prudential RideLondon campaign has been created to achieve both these aims."

“My Prudential RideLondon is completely free and offers a fundraising challenge for everyone, whether that’s an amateur rider doing 100 miles or a family enjoying a 1km bike ride together. It can be done wherever you are and at any time on 15 or 16 August. Whatever you do, we urge you to raise funds for a charity of your choice – and have fun!”

Ark Cancer Centre Charity trustee Merv Rees said: “We are delighted that we are able to offer our supporters the opportunity to be able to take part in this exciting event and to be able to fundraise in this way at this time when every penny counts.”

Ark is raising £5million to help provide supportive care and services, complementary therapies and an enhanced environment for cancer patients and their loved ones. The ultimate goal is to deliver all of this in a cancer treatment centre that will be part of a new hospital campus for people in the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust area.

How it works:

My Prudential RideLondon includes four challenges for all ages and abilities that participants can do on a route of their choice, wherever they are in the world, on either 15 or 16 August:

· My Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100: 100-mile ride

· My Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46: 46-mile ride

· My Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 19: 19-mile ride

· My Prudential RideLondon FreeCycle: An event that allows you to set your own challenge (starting from 1km) on the wheels of your choice: bikes, push scooters, skateboards, trikes, balance bikes, roller skates, wheelchairs or anything that is self-propelled (e-bikes are fine too).

Participants who wish to ride Ark Cancer Centre Charity need to register in advance and select their challenge at The site will also provide a link to Virgin Money Giving where they can set up their fundraising page.

Once signed up, participants will be able to download the new My Prudential RideLondon app in event week. This will give every participant and supporter a unique ride day experience, including:

· A GPS function that enables friends and family to follow a rider’s progress on the virtual Prudential RideLondon route

· Creation of a personalised Prudential RideLondon certificate that shows the rider’s completed route and ride time

· Selfie frames to give riders personalised Prudential RideLondon finisher photographs

· Direct donation button through to each rider’s Virgin Money Giving fundraising page

In addition, every rider aged over 18 who registers will have the option of being entered into a fantastic competition that has 25 top-quality prizes available including a brand new Brompton Bicycle valued at more than £1,000, a HIGH5 nutrition bundle worth £250 and top-of-the-range cycling equipment including a SRAM groupset and Zipp wheels.

Participants are asked to follow current Government guidelines on cycling. For more information, click here.