This summer, Phil Deeker will lead ten groups of Rapha Travel cyclists who are taking on one of the ten "Rapha Cent Cols Challenge" that will make up the "Ride of a Thousand Cols" in aid of Access Sport. The journey will begin on the 21st of May and finish on the 4th of October - with Phil hoping to ride over all 1000 mountains!

Below, Phil explains why he has chosen to support Access Sport in this incredible challenge...

Why Access Sport?

In 2016 this charity was granted the largest sum of money yet given to one single project by the William Wates Memorial Trust (for whom I worked as lead rider, from 2010 – 2016,  on six Tours de France).  The work Access Sport are doing to help young people in the UK open up new horizons in their lives, through sport, corresponds totally with the heart of what the WWMT is about.  The WWMT has always been focused on projects that  build foundations for a better world, through helping  young people to change their lives when the only direction they have been shown by their environment is one of crime, drug abuse and what I will call « negative survival ».

The BMX Legacy Programme is a brilliant example of what can be done thanks to a few totally dedicated staff who run it and financial backing from  charities such as WWMT as well as  government bodies such as British Cycling. A BMX  track , and a social/sports club built around it, is a perfect way to address the problem of the oppressive nature of inner-city life for so many youngsters.

  • It requires little space.
  • It requires relatively little investment and maintenance.
  • It offers a safe and controllable environment as an alternative to cycling on the streets.
  • It requires kids (and adults !) to learn a real technique and thereby attain self-esteem, which is the key to a positive attitude to learning in general.
  • BMX can be a fun thing to do as a casual /social activity, but it can also provide a channel for serious personal development.
  • It is appealing to all ages between 6 – 60.
  • As a sport it is based on intense and short efforts. A session of 45 – 60 minutes is often enough both for learner and more advanced. (Because of this it has been relatively easy to get schools to include a BMX session in their curriculum, with an clear, positive impact on overall classroom performance).
  • BMX provides a perfect way to attempt to deal with this quite shocking statistic.

The BMX Legacy Programme is already having impact in other regions of the UK, but if I choose this project as one that I am asking you all to support it is because I truly believe that such projects can shine as examples throughout the world, changing things via the ONLY WAY possible to make changes : through changing INDIVIDUAL LIVES.

Thank you, in advance, for any support you are able to give.


All of the Access Sport team wish Phil and his co-riders the very best of luck in their cycling adventure. If you would like to support the team, please visit their fundraising page on Virgin Money Giving.