Cogs4Cancer is the bike race that will lead cyclists from London to Antibes in the South of France. Words by Matt Scott
Now an eagerly anticipated event amongst the Mediterranean yachting community, Cogs4Cancer is a charitable event with a difference and is set to arrive in the Cote d’Azur in October 2017. 36 brave, self-funded riders will undertake a gruelling 1,400km cycle in the name of a good cause, raising thousands of euros for Cancer Research in the process. The development of the 10-day event will be closely followed by thousands of supporters, from yacht owners who reside in luxury real estate in Monaco to captains in St Tropez and everybody in between.
The race was first organised by a selfless group of individuals in 2013, when a small team cycled from Antibes to Palma. In 2014, the route was altered, leading cyclists from Ancona to Antibes. In 201, the last year that Cogs4Cancer was held, cyclists made their way from Barcelona to Antibes. This year, however, competitors will face their most challenging route yet: London to Antibes. The race – which typically brings together yacht captains, engineers and crew as competitors – has gained a great deal of backing from celebrities, royalty and other prominent members of the international community. HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, Gordon Ramsey, Rihanna, Novak Djokovic, Roman Abramovich, Sylvester Stallone and Michael Owen are the latest people to lend their names to the cause.
We spoke to Ben Young, one of the organisers of C4C and a competitor in each of the previous editions: “This is very much a group effort and whilst I get to piece it together it wouldn't happen without the support of so many people. From a personal point of view I am driven by the belief that those of us lucky enough to have good health and careers should do all we can to help others less fortunate.“
There are many ways for people to get involved with the charitable event. For those with an interest in cycling, who feel that a 10-day trip is too much, it is possible to join the cohort for the final 3 days of the event. Similarly, there are options to join the last 60km and 10km of the race. Alternatively, it is possible to get involved without even mounting the saddle: donors can arrange events and parties in the name of C4C, and can also purchase a C4C wristband for the small cost of €5. All funds raised go to the cause.
The fun event is held in great spirits, with a celebratory party in October to mark the closing of the race for another year. In 2017, C4C hopes to break the €1 million donation mark; currently, the charity has raised a staggering €705,080!