Winner’s jersey presentation has special meaning for Paul

Hannah Barnes won the Best of British Jersey on Stage 1
Hannah Barnes won the Best of British Jersey on Stage 1

After an exciting day’s racing in the first Friends Life Women’s Tour, the winners were presented with their winners’ jerseys.

The winner of the fastest British rider, Hannah Barnes, was presented with her jersey by former Northampton Official Receiver, Paul Ashby.

Paul, 64, was asked to go on to the podium at the end of Stage 1 (from Oundle to Northampton) today (Wednesday, May 7), and present a prize jersey to the fastest British rider on behalf of blood cancer charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, the race’s official charity partner.

Paul became a supporter of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research following his diagnosis of chronic lymphocyctic leukaemia (CLL) in September 2010. He discovered he had the disease after going for a routine blood test following a trip abroad.

He said: “The doctor told me that it was good news and bad news. The good news was that CLL is one of the better types of leukaemia to have. It’s now a question of watching and waiting. I’m not currently on any medication but I have regular hospital check-ups, and I now help Leicester and Rutland branch of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.”

Cyclist Dani King, who has become an ambassador for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research since winning her London 2012 gold medal, said: “I’m really excited to be competing in The Women’s Tour. British fans have totally embraced women’s cycling, so the local crowd reaction should be fantastic. I will be striving to wear the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research jersey to show my support and raise awareness of the fantastic work the charity does to beat blood cancer.”

People inspired by The Women’s Tour can register for a range of cycling events run by Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, including the London to Paris bike ride (June 19-23), London Bikeathon (August 31) and Birmingham Bikeathon (September 21). For more information go to www.beatingbloodcancers.org.uk/get-involved/sports-challenges