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British BikeTrial legend Martyn Ashton confirms 'Champs Dinner' attendance

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Action’s ‘Champions of Cyclesport’ dinner returns later this year, attracting another impressive line-up of cycling greats. The fundraising gala will be held at the Hurlingham Club in London on Thursday 21 November and will give guests the chance to rub shoulders with their heroes, as well as bid for some amazing ‘money-can’t-buy’ auction prizes.

One of the confirmed attendees is Martyn Ashton. The former World Expert BikeTrial Champion has won numerous British Biketrial national titles and has even been inducted into the Mountain Biking UK Hall Of Fame. In 2013 he suffered a debilitating back injury which left him paralysed from the waist down. Since then he has used a variety of wheelchairs, including ones adapted to allow him to continue outdoor pursuits.  We caught up with him to hear more about his fascinating career and his passionate support for the ‘Champs Dinner’.

Martyn, there’s no doubt you have had a hugely successful career. Looking back at all your professional achievements, what would you say has been your proudest?

I think getting back on a bike after my injury is easily what I'm proudest of. That has had more effect on other people and started a bit of a movement towards adapted mountain biking being recognised and growing. I'm very proud to be part of that group. 

Since the accident you have continued to push the boundaries of what many people thought was possible. What motivates you to keep challenging yourself?

Mainly seeing others doing the same. I get a bit more attention than most because I'm on a YouTube channel and have a backstory in cycling, but there are tons of other adapted riders in mountain biking, and in other extreme sports too. Adapted athletes or any rider who pushes their boundaries is inspiring to me. 

Speaking of YouTube, were you surprised by the success of your Road Bike Party video?

Yep for sure. I hoped the original would get 100k views in total if i was lucky, but it far outreached that in the first day. I’m very lucky to have had that experience. (Editor’s note: it’s had over 13 million views!)

What would you say has been your greatest recent achievement?

The RandomTandem (on the Global Mountain Bike Network is pretty great. It is fun to ride with someone else in that strange situation. I like talking to the guests too, getting an insight into their lives and what they are like as people. The bike is also pretty nuts to ride. 

What is it about cycling – or mountain biking in particular – that you love so much?

I love the freedom and the endless challenge. I think I also love the people in cycling. We all have a fascination for this weird contraption, and that gives us a great connection. I always just feel like i know a fellow cyclist, even if we have never met before, somehow that connection allows us to be friends right away. 

Cycling is obviously a major part of Action’s fundraising. How did you first hear about Action Medical Research?

I was asked to come and perform a bike show at one of the first ‘Champions of Cyclesport’ dinners, and I loved it right away. Everyone is winning on that night. 

The ‘Champs Dinner’ is a key date in our calendar: how would you describe it to someone who has never been?

It has the glitz and glamour, it has the stars. The evening has a serious point and message, however 'the room' doesn't take itself too seriously. The cycling stars like Sir Chris Hoy and the like are there just hanging out, and they are there because they want to be too. Its great and a big night in any cyclist’s year. 

 You have very kindly attended a number of our dinners and we’re delighted you’re returning for 2019: Why do you continue to support Action?

We are all benefitting from what Action does. You hear about their work on the night and you are (will be) touched by the stories you hear. It is something you feel honoured to have supported on that special evening.

Other than the Champs Dinner, what’s on the horizon for you in 2019 or 2020?

I have a new bike in development that I'm very excited about. It’s very different but I think it could be a really fun bit of kit. Fingers crossed, I might have it by Champions!


Martyn Ashton will be joined by a host of cycling superstars at this year's Champions of Cyclesport dinner for Action Medical Research.

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