SIX brave Yorkshiremen have crossed the finish line after cycling 700 miles from Innsbruck to Harrogate as part of the first ever charity UCI Road World Championships Flag Relay event to carry the world-famous UCI flag into the county.

The riders set off from Innsbruck – the location of the 2018 Championships – and rode through Austria, Germany, Holland and Belgium before returning to the UK last weekend with the flag.

They completed the gruelling ride with a leg from Hull to Harrogate – the hub of the UCI Road World Championships 2019 – via a reception in Leeds Civic Hall.

James Goodyear and Dylan Hall from Leeds, Simon Woodward from York, Geoffrey Lee from Wetherby, Martin Stoney from Ilkley, Scott Cranmer from Wakefield and David Sanderson from Colchester all tackled the 700 mile, seven day challenge.

Dylan Hall and Martin Stoney, 45, were riding in memory of Dylan’s daughter, Ruby, who passed away in 2016 after being treated on the neonatal ward in Leeds. Geoffrey Lee was the oldest member of the team at 72.

The flag relay is all in aid of charity Leeds Cares, the official fundraising partner of the UCI Road World Championships, who are fundraising for some major new projects at Leeds Teaching Hospitals to benefit people from across Yorkshire.

These include a support programme for families of neonatal babies, a new exercise and rehab programme for major trauma patients and the purchase of a world-class rehabilitation machine - the BTE primus - for patients suffering from complex limb disorders.

James Goodyear said: “As a staff member at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, I see how Leeds Cares provides fantastic support to patients and staff, so it was important for me to support them and enable to work that they do. It’s incredibly affecting hearing stories such as Dylan’s. Knowing that staff in the hospital – with support from Leeds Cares – will be able to help people in their times of greatest need was a great motivating factor to dig deep and keep going throughout the challenge.”

Dylan Hall said: “I was a little nervous beforehand and would have liked to have done a little more training, but my legs got me through and over the line. Leeds Teaching Hospitals have done so much for my family and I over the years; looking after my daughter, brother and nephews. Fundraising for Leeds Cares is hugely important to us all, but to be part of something historic like this with the UCI and Leeds Cares involved is amazing.”

Martin Stoney added: “Over 700 miles in 7 days was a really tough challenge, but it was a great adventure. There were some tough times when we all needed to dig deep, but the money we all raised provided all the motivation we need.”

People can still donate via the official event fundraising website at

The eight-day 2019 UCI Road World Championships from September 22 to 29 will see some of the world’s best cyclists travel to Yorkshire for men’s and women’s races, across age groups from Junior to Elite.