For all things motorcycling
For all things motorcycling

From horsepower to pedal-power - Crescent Racing takes on the mountains for Cycle Slam 2016

Having completed the Chamonix to Chambery stage of the 2014 CycleSlam challenge in aid of the Dallaglio Foundation, Paul Denning – Team Principal of the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team – is back for more of the same in 2016 but this year he has drafted in Technical Coordinator, and cycle novice, Dale Meech.

Swapping the French Alps for the Pyrenees, Denning and Meech will cycle 530.8kms from Andorra to Barcelona between 5th and the 9th June, with vertical climbing of nearly 8,000 metres as they journey via Couzia, Narbonne, Canet-en-Rouissillon and Girona. Their target – other than to stay on two-wheels and complete the ride – is to raise money for rugby legend Lawrence Dallaglio's inspirational and educational “RugbyWorks” programme.

Seemingly challenging enough already, this particular venture has an added element - Meech had never ridden a road bike until last month and due to the constant demands of the Superbike World Championship schedule, the furthest he had ridden by early May was just 75km!

The challenge and charity are important to both Denning and Meech, the latter having himself joined Crescent Motorcycles after leaving school early at the age of just 15. Now 31, Meech is responsible for the parts and technical coordination of the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team's workflow, having originally worked his way up from workshop apprentice to chassis mechanic during the team's British Championship progression through Stock, Supersport and Superbike competition. Learning the craft of engine building, 2011 also saw him take the reigns as Crew Chief to John Kirkham for the team's last season in BSB.

The Dallaglio Foundation has been running since 2009. Its RugbyWorks programme uses sport to transform the aspirations of disengaged young people: 14 to 16 year olds at increased risk of long-term unemployment, criminality and imprisonment. They aim to make a profound impact on the marginalised lives of those excluded from mainstream education – increasing self-worth, improving life skills and boosting employability. Understanding the huge range of factors that can lead to students being excluded from mainstream education, the Dallaglio Foundation doesn't believe this should signal exclusion from mainstream society too.

Working in Pupil Referral Units, they give young people the practical support, experience and ability that helps them believe and invest in the possibility of a better future. Central to each school's curriculum and focused on building long-term relationships, small groups of just 10 young people per school (in London, Newcastle, Bristol and the Rhondda Valley) get to know their coaches over 30 weeks per year, for two years.

With the WorldSBK team recently back from racing in Malaysia, and the home round at Donington Park just over one week away, there is little preparation time left before the Crescent Racing duo take on the CycleSlam challenge in early June. For more information and to support them in their journey, please visit the charity's website by clicking the image above and the team's fundraising page at the following link:

Paul and Dale's fundraising page

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