The 2015 edition of the Great Manchester Cycle has been launched by rugby league legends and Joining Jack Ambassadors Kris Radlinski MBE and Paul Sculthorpe MBE. They were joined by Joining Jack founders Andy and Alex Johnson, as well as Paul Holden, a prolific fundraiser for the charity.
 
To help celebrate their participation in the event, and raise awareness of the work that Joining Jack does, Radlinski and Sculthorpe joined the Johnson's and Holden at Albert Square, outside Manchester's iconic Town Hall building on Tuesday (3rd March).

This year's event takes place on Sunday 28th June with up to 8,000 riders expected to take to the closed roads of Manchester.  With three distances available – 13, 26, and 52 miles, the event welcomes cyclists of all ages and abilities. The course will once again feature the popular lap around the districts of Manchester, Trafford and Salford and provide the unique opportunity to ride the iconic stretch of the Mancunian Way – normally off-limits to cyclists.

Joining Jack was founded in 2012 by former Wigan rugby player Andy Johnson and his wife Alex, after their 7-year-old son Jack was diagnosed with the terminal condition Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The charity raises awareness whilst raising funds to help find a treatment for the disease.

Radlinski was pleased be supporting the charity, saying “I'm really happy to be involved with the Great Manchester Cycle this year. We've been supporters of Joining Jack from day one and it's close to our hearts,” before adding “I'm really looking forward to a great event in June and spreading awareness of the charity.”

The charity has a clear affinity with the Rugby League Community with Sculthorpe explaining, “I've been good friends with Andy Johnson throughout our rugby careers and I think the great thing about our game is that we do support our own. I met Jack and he's a lovely little boy, and you just want to do your bit for the charity.”

A fan of two wheels already, Sculthorpe was looking forward to the challenge. “I'll be cycling the 52 miles. I do a bit of cycling already so I'm looking to push myself and do it as quickly as I can,” he continued. “It's a closed road event so it'll be nice not to dodge traffic for a change.”
 
Alex Johnson, founder of Joining Jack, said: “The Joining Jack team is delighted to be joining forces with the Great Manchester Cycle for the first time.  This is the fourth successive year that we have formed a cycling team and entered an event, but this year we are hoping to take it one step further and reach 500 cyclists.
 
She continued “We are really excited to have former Great Britain rugby league stars Paul Sculthorpe and Kris Radlinski riding for the charity, along with another of our most adventurous supporters, TV presenter Helen Skelton, spearheading our challenge.”
 
Kerry Simpson of event organisers Nova International added: "We are really excited to launch the 2015 edition of the Great Manchester Cycle here with Joining Jack.
 
She continued: "Since 2012, Joining Jack has done fantastic work to raise awareness of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and we're proud today to share the launch of the Great Manchester Cycle with them as we also enter our fourth year. It promises to be another great event for Manchester, encouraging thousands of people to get on their bikes from all areas of the community."

Price for The Great Manchester Cycle start at £22 per entry for the 13-mile route, £25 for the 26-mile, and £30 for the 52-mile ride. Children aged 8-15 are eligible to ride their own bikes on the 13-mile route as part of a group entry with an accompanying adult.

To enter the Great Manchester Cycle click here