André Greipel to attempt biggest ever Zwift group ride to raise awareness of brain disease

The German sprinter lost his mother to the devastating condition in 2017

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Could you keep up with one of the fastest sprinters in cycling history?

Thanks to the online training platform Zwift you might just get to find out and raise money for a good cause in the process.

On Saturday (February 8), 11-time Tour de France stage winner André Greipel will be attempting the biggest Zwift group ride ever held to raise awareness of the disease that killed his mother.

Greipel, who races for Israel Start-Up Nation on the road, will be riding with and chatting to fans on Zwift to help raise money to fight the brain disease ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, after his mother Gudrun died from the condition in 2017.

To help the fight against ALS, Zwift will be donating one US dollar for ever Zwifter that joins in the group ride, up to $10,000 (£7,600), to the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases.

Zwift said on it’s website: “On Saturday February 8th Join André, the Zwift community and Pros alike as we ride to raise funds for ALS research. To help André make this the biggest Zwift group ride ever Zwift will donate $1 for every Zwifter that joins the rides the ride, up to $10,000.

“In 2017, pro cyclist André Greipel’s mother Gudrun, passed away after a long fight with ALS (otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's Disease), after her initial diagnosis in 2013. ALS is a brain disease that impacts nerve cells, deteriorating muscle control and eventually paralysing patients. Many die within five years after diagnosis.

“Gudrun was Andre's biggest supporter, and now it's up to us to help support him and her legacy by joining him in the fight against ALS. With this ride on February 8th, we’re raising awareness and money to accelerate the pace of ALS research. The donations go entirely to ALS researcher Professor Prudlo, currently conducting research at the DZNE, the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases.”

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Greipel has spent years raising money and awareness to help fund research into ALS, which affects around two in every 100,000 people worldwide.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as motor neurone disease, impacts nerve cells and causes deteriorating muscle control and most sufferers eventually suffer paralysis and many die from respiratory failure.

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