IT WAS the death of his wife which initially made Rob Sanderson get on his bicycle again.

The 60-year-old wanted to take on a new challenge while raising the profile of the disease which killed his wife.

15 weeks later he cycled more than 800 miles from Calais to Perpignan over 10 days raising £40,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA).

Now almost 200 cyclists are set to pedal around Winchester next month in memory of Rob’s wife Kate Sanderson – building on a similar event held last year.

CycleForKate was organised by father and son team Rob and Will Sanderson and will take place on May 28, in memory of wife and mother Kate, who died of the condition in December 2014.

Kate’s health began to steadily decline three years ago, however diagnosis was not straightforward.

It took doctors months to diagnose the rare condition but 14 weeks later on December 6, 2014 Kate died, aged 50.

“She was my best friend. She lit up a room as she went into it and within ten minutes she would know everyone.

“There was never a dull moment with Kate,” said her husband who played 30 seasons for Winchester rugby club.

Cyclists will depart and finish at Winchester Rugby Club, where Rob and Kate first met in 1985.

To accommodate more riders a fourth route has been added to this year’s event giving participants a choice of 22, 50, 76 or 104 miles depending on their ability.

So far they have raised more than £60,000 for the MNDA charity.

“Last year was the first time we had organised anything like this but it was such a good day that everyone that attended wanted to do it again.

“It is amazing that we have raised £60,000 but we aren’t at our £100,000 target which we have set our sights on, so that is what we will do.”

MNDA is a severely life-shortening condition for most people and there is currently no cure.

The Motor Neurone Disease Association is the leading charity for the condition which affects nerve cells, they aim to give sufferers information, practical advice and support about living with the disease and coping with the emotional impact of being diagnosed.

“Motor Neurone Disease is very hard to diagnose, until the day of diagnosis, we knew nothing about it.

“For the short time we needed the charity, they were really supportive,” said Rob who works as the head of Central Store Developments.

“Last year’s ‘Tour des Silos’ proved highly popular, but going from 22 to 76 miles proved too much for some, so we have added a more manageable 50-mile circuit for those seeking a less strenuous ride.

“With nearly 200 people already confirmed, a fourth route also helps us to manage the day by staggering start times.

“Last year’s ride was made up almost entirely of close friends, but interest from colleagues of mine and former colleagues of Kate’s has seen it more than double in numbers.

“It is heartening that so many people from both our lives should want to support us in helping to fund research in to motor neurone disease.

“Kate would absolutely love it.

“Groups of people we know, united by a common cause, setting challenges and having a good laugh at the same time.”

For further information on this event please visit where cyclists can register for the ride and donations can be made.

To contact Rob Sanderson about the event, email him at