Gareth Thomas Tour de Trophy Day 1

9 December 2019

Today saw rugby star Gareth Thomas begin the toughest and most intense physical challenge of his career as he kicked off his epic 500-mile cycle from Cardiff to Aberdeen.

Over the next seven days, he will be cycling a gruelling 12 hours a day as part of his mission to not only raise life-changing cash for Sport Relief, but also to deliver the BBC Sport Personality of the Year trophy from Geraint Thomas 2018 winner’s hometown to the 2019 winner at the live awards ceremony.

At 730am Gareth collected the trophy from Bute Park against the backdrop of the iconic Cardiff Castle, joined in the Quattrocycle by fellow Welsh rugby legend Shane Williams, former Scottish international and Strictly Star Thom Evans, and TV presenter Matt Johnson. Crossing the start line they were flanked by the Maindy Flyers, 2018 Sport Personality of the Year winner Geraint Thomas’ childhood cycling club.  

Gareth Thomas said: “After all the nerves it’s amazing to get this challenge underway. Spirits are so high, we all sang The Greatest Showman earlier on the Quattocycle, four welsh boys belting it out. To see the people coming out to support in Cardiff was incredibly heartwarming. I really want people to come out and show support on the rest of this long journey, whether its donating to the work of Sport Relief or shouting a cheer.” 

Shane Williams said: “I ended up steering the Quattrocycle today, we all made it to the first pit stop so I must have done something right! It’s a pleasure to be involved in this with a close friend like Gareth and for an important cause like Sport Relief. I have complete faith in Gareth to complete this huge challenge.” 

Thom Evans said: “Gareth has done so much for Rugby and beyond.  The projects Sport Relief fund help and support so many people and it’s an absolute honour to be involved.  If anyone can do this, Gareth can.”

Matt Evans said: “We’ve be blessed with good weather so far, but that can all change quickly. The four of us are having so much fun but what’s also been important is the chats we have had about mental health and how we can all be affected.  Gareth is a hero to me, the confidence he has had in speaking out about who is inspirational.” While raising money, Gareth is also learning about the work being done to tackle stigma in the UK, that Sport Relief makes possible, and highlight some of the great work being done to tackle injustice on home turf.  Today on  the 80 mile cycle route to Ludlow, Gareth met Sport Relief funded project workers and beneficiaries from ‘Body and Soul, who provide community-based support for people affected by HIV, attempted suicide and adoption, from their London hub.

Tomorrow will see Gareth cycle a mammoth 86 miles from Ludlow to Warrington.

Daily pictures available here: https://mm.gettyimages.com/mm/nicePath/comicrelief_public?nav=pr654784514

ENDS

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Comic Relief Media Team:  media@comicrelief.com  0207 820 2500

NOTES TO EDITORS: 

Website: sportrelief.com  Social @sportrelief  #TourdeTrophy

Follow Gareth on Twitter: @gareththomas14 | Instagram: @GarethThomasOfficial

About Sport Relief Sport Relief brings the nation together to get active and raise life changing amounts of money through the power of sport.  Sport Relief only spends funds on the things it passionately believes in. These being:  •    Survive and Thrive: That every child has the right to the best start in life •    Global Mental Health: That every person has the right to quality mental health support where and when they need it •    Safe Place to Be: Everyone having a safe, secure and decent place to call home •    Gender Justice: Women & girls having equal power and say in the decisions that impact their lives

About Comic Relief Comic Relief is a UK charity with a simple purpose -to create a just world, free from poverty. Comic Relief does this by funding and investing in amazing organisations across the UK and around the world to tackle some of the key issues of our time. Since 1985, Comic Relief has raised over £1.3 billion. That money has helped, and is helping, to improve countless lives. For information about Comic Relief and the work it carries out, please visit www.comicrelief.comComic Relief, registered charity 326568 (England/Wales); SC039730 (Scotland)

Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) Sports Personality of the Year will take place in Aberdeen for the first time at the new P&J Live Arena on Sunday, 15 December. Presenters Gary Lineker, Clare Balding and Gabby Logan will take to the stage to celebrate the year of sport in front of an audience of 10,000, with millions more watching live on BBC One.