Prince Harry has given the 10th annual Cycle 4 Cynthia the royal seal of approval in a personally-signed letter commending everyone who is taking part in the event.
The prince had been invited to open this year’s event, which takes place at Althorp on Sunday.
He is unable to attend, but instead sent a letter in which he praises the success of the event, which has raised around £250,000 for the Friends of Cynthia Spencer House and Macmillan Cancer Support in the county.
He also commends the riders, marshals, volunteers and sponsors, and implies that had he been taking part, he would have chosen the five-mile, rather than 50-mile route.
The letter is now available to view at the ride’s website www.cycle4cynthia.com and will also be on display at the start line of the ride on Sunday.
Event chairman John Pinkham said he hoped the letter would spur the cyclists on.
He said: “We are obviously disappointed that Prince Harry cannot be with us but we hope his generous words go some way to showing all those taking part how much their support is valued.
“It’s a particularly fitting touch because our tenth anniversary ride promises to be the best yet and so it is great to have this Royal seal of approval.”
Among those leaping into the saddle on Sunday are members of Girlguiding Northamptonshire who decided to get involved to improve their cycling skills as well as have a great day out.
Speaking about the Prince’s letter, 13-year-old old Polly Webster, from 1st Bugbrooke Guides, said: “It’s really exciting to get a special message from Prince Harry because it shows he really cares about the two charities and will be thinking about all those who are pedalling hard.”
Jessica Baldwin, who is a team leader for the 3rd Daventry Brownies, added: “If our legs start to feel tired, we’ll just remember his words and hopefully that will give us a big boost of energy to help us keep going.”
There is still time for anyone wanting to take part in Cycle 4 Cynthia to sign up.
The race starts from 9am with riders being able to choose from five, 25 or 50-mile routes.
Entry is £20 for adults, £10 for children and £50 for families.Participants are also encouraged to raise as much money as possible in sponsorship.
Online entry and sponsorship forms are available by visiting www.cycle4cynthia.com, while registration is taking place at Cynthia Spencer Hospice, in Kettering Road, between 10am and midday on Saturday. Riders can also turn up at Althorp from 8am on the day.
Sue Bownass, from the Friends of Cynthia Spencer Hospice, said: “I would urge anyone who has ridden before, and newcomers, to dig out their wheels and come and join us and help make this tenth anniversary ride the best yet.”
For more information call Northampton 678088.