Our 2022 finale/2023 opener finally took place on Thursday 23rd February. Having cancelled the finale at the end of 2022 due to the rail strikes, we re-branded the event to kickstart the 2023 season and it was great to welcome so many people, both new and old faces, to the Pinarello flagship store on Regent Street. We were delighted to announce the programme for the new season, hear from the captivating Matt Rendell, and sample Market Row rum.
BDOVELO Chair, Chris Grove, opened proceedings, before handing over to Richard Best, from Iconic Cycling Events, to introduce the plans for the 2023 season (you can view the calendar here). The pair then introduced the guest speaker, award-winning sports journalist, television presenter and author, Matt Rendell.
It is easy to see how Matt has forged a successful career talking about cycling as he regaled us with stories of how he started in cycling journalism, the changing landscape of professional racing, the challenges he faced writing books about some of cycling’s biggest characters, most notably "Il Pirata" Marco Pantini and, then finally, the secret sauce of the Colombian riders. It was particularly interesting to hear Matt’s candor about the Armstrong-era.
Throughout the evening there was an opportunity to sample Market Row rum from Brixton Distillery and a big thank you to Pat Venning, who gave us the short version of the story of how he came to set up the distillery and create Market Row rum with its Caribbean soul with London spirit.
During the evening we held a raffle to raise money for childrens’ charity Action Medical Research. Thank you to everyone who bought a raffle ticket; together we raised just over £400 for this fantastic cause.
A final thank you to Richard Hemington, Tim O’Connor and the Pinarello team for allowing us to use the store, and for keeping the tills open!