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Professional women cyclists join Dempsey Challenge this weekend

Coryn Rivera and Kristin McGrath of the Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12 women’s professional cycling team will join actor Patrick Dempsey and thousands of participants in the third annual Dempsey Challenge presented by Amgen.

The run, walk and cycling fundraising weekend is scheduled for Oct. 8 and 9 in Lewiston. The events will host over 3,000 participants from 33 states and four countries. Funds raised through the Dempsey Challenge benefit The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

Rivera, 19, is one of the fastest rising stars of women’s cycling. She began riding at age 10 and is the winningest junior rider in USA history for both men and women. She’s won 32 Junior National Championship titles in road, track and cyclocross, plus a pair of bronze Junior World Championship medals. She currently has her sights set on the 2016 Olympics.

McGrath, 29, won Best Young Rider and Best Amateur Rider jerseys at Nature Valley Grand Prix in 2008. She earned her first European podium in 2009 with a third place finish in the Time Trial at La Route de France and capped the season with a top-ten GC finish at Giro della Toscana.

McGrath spent much of 2010 recovering from injuries sustained after being struck by a vehicle during a training ride. Kristin recently won stage and placed third in the GC in the inaugural Aspen/Snowmass Pro Women’s Stage Race.

Rivera and McGrath will join fellow pros Levi Leipheimer, Tom Danielson and Fred Rodriguez, along with former pros Davis and Connie Phinney in lending support to the event. The Challenge last year raised $1.1 million to aid cancer patients, survivors and caregivers with free services offered by The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing at CMMC.

Patrick Dempsey was born in Lewiston and raised in Turner and Buckfield. He attended Buckfield High School and St. Dominic Regional High School.

Best known for his role as neurosurgeon Dr. Derek Shepherd on the hit ABC series “Grey’s Anatomy,” his acting career spans more than two decades in both television and feature films.

Dempsey was awakened to the realities of cancer when his mother battled ovarian cancer three different times. She is now enjoying a healthy, active life.

“I learned a lot during my mother’s illness,” Dempsey said. “I found out how important it is to have access to good, reliable resources to help the patient, family members and caretakers. After this experience, I knew that I wanted to make a difference, to give back to the community that helped my mom through her cancer journey.”

Patrick and his wife, Jillian Fink Dempsey, have a daughter, Tallulah Fyfe, and twin boys, Darby Galen and Sullivan Patrick. They live in California and own a coastal farm in Maine.

He is a physical fitness enthusiast, enjoys remodeling houses and is the co-owner of and a driver for Hyper Sport, a Grand Am Road Racing team.

The Dempsey Challenge offers an L.L.Bean 5K and 10K run/walk on October 8 and Fundraising Rides presented by Exergy Development Group of 10, 25, 50, 70 and 100 miles on October 9. All events will begin and end at Simard-Payne Memorial Park in Lewiston.

Participants are encouraged to create or join teams to build camaraderie and assist their fundraising efforts. Registration and more information is available at

The weekend will include a free family-friendly Festival in the Park, which plays host to the Concentra Health and Wellness Expo, Positive Tracks KidZone, vendor fair and live entertainment. Runners and walkers will enjoy the Hannaford 5 & 10K Café on Saturday, Oct. 8, while cyclists are invited to take part in a participant lobster bake on Sunday, Oct. 9. The Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Survivor Walk will take place Saturday, Oct. 8 at 10 a.m.






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