Porter gets on his bike once more - The Worcester Observer

Porter gets on his bike once more

Worcester Editorial 19th Aug, 2015 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016   0

HE’S commentated on every Olympic gold medal winner in the modern era of cycling and is synonymous with the pictures of cycling success at London 2012.

And Hugh Porter is now getting set to cycle around Worcester on Sunday, October 4, as part of the Aviva Tour Ride sportive.

City cyclists can saddle up alongside the 75-year-old on the 40-mile route, or take on the challenge of 75 or 100-mile routes, both of which also start and finish in Worcester.

The routes will showcase some of the most attractive, and toughest, roads in Worcestershire, as used by previous editions of British Cycling’s premier road cycling event, the Aviva Tour of Britain.

And the event will have extra significance for respected commentator Mr Porter, who turned 75 in January and wanted to mark his birthday in style by raising cash for a charity close to his heart.

“I wanted to underpin by birthday by doing a bike ride and I am connected with Sweetspot who put the events on and Aviva who sponsor the tours I commentate on for television,” he told The Observer.

“I wanted to pick part of the year where the weather would be better but I am also quite busy commentating.”

“I am going to try and raise money for the Compton Hospice in Wolverhampton, I lost my poor sister to cancer and I think most families are touched by cancer sadly.

“My uncle passed away in the hospice there and I do try to raise money along the way with quite a few projects.

“Worcester is a super area for riding a bike. When I was a pro I have ridden and indeed raced here many times and it’s only just down the road from where I live.

“I am hoping a number of my pals will come along as well so I think it will be a good day,” he added.

“Come along and ride with me, the more the merrier.”

With British cycling currently enjoying an incredible renaissance, Mr Porter hopes many more people will be inspired to follow in the cycle tracks of the likes of Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Bradley Wiggins and two-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome.

“I think the sport has taken such a meteoric rise because of the fact we have enjoyed a lot of success, particularly on the veledrome which has got massive coverage,” he said.

“The Tour of Britain stands alone as a sensational international bike race; it’s got first class sponsors and is on the international cycling calendar.

“The position of it on the calendar is of paramount importance because it means riders who are putting the finishing touches to their preparation for the World Championships can come here and use it and get that important stage win.”

After a career which saw him win titles on the track, Mr Porter swapped the saddle for the microphone and became the premier commentator for cycling events around the world.

“I still loving calling all the events, I don’t seem to have lost any of the passion,” he said. “I’m still uncontrollable once I get the mic in my hand!

“The euphoric atmosphere at London 2012 was something special, you could have cut it with a knife and fork! The noise and the huge British success was something you will never forget so being part of that is a memory no broadcaster or commentator could ever pass.”

l Visit www.tourride.co.uk to sign up for the Aviva Tour Ride.

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