Inspiration: Interview

DGR: top fundraisers get their Triumphs

The winners pick up their prizes

To inspire and encourage fundraising at the DGR, the top fundraisers are gifted some incredible prizes. Triumph gives the top three fundraisers worldwide and the winner of the Ton-Up Final Sprint a Triumph motorcycle. Find out how the winners achieved their goals and got on with their prizes.

Michael Mancinelli – 1st place

Hitting the top spot, Michael reflects on DGR ’18 and how he managed to set the standard for global fundraising.

“It was a fantastic experience. From a fundraising point of view, rallying people together to support men’s mental health and prostate cancer, and being the highest global fundraiser, was a task I was extremely proud of achieving. As for the riding experience, the Hamilton, Ontario, Canada ride run by Jeff Campagna from Steeltown Garage Co. was a huge success. The men and women were out in colder than normal temperatures in full support, dressed in their finest attire.

“I got involved in DGR two years ago during the 2017 ride. I felt it was a cause worth getting involved in. I had the opportunity of doing the ride with my father, Joseph Mancinelli, who was actually one of the top fundraisers that year. We spoke about the importance of the cause and where the proceeds were going.

“Motorcycles to me represent freedom. There is something special when you get on that bike, turn the ignition and feel and hear the engine rumble. It’s a feeling like no other.”

Michael chose a Thruxton R 1200 as a prize for being the top fundraiser: “I have one word for the machine: WOW! What a bike. The detail, the elegance, the power all coming together to create a masterpiece. I’ll be showing the bike off this spring and summer.

“Plans are under way for next year. All contributors to the cause are ready for another year to generate awareness and funds. I will be striving to be in the top three fundraisers once again for the 2019 DGR.”

Vincent Nicolai – 2nd place

Vincent’s been raising money at the DGR for a while – and doing a great job. Climbing to third place in 2017 and now hitting second place, he’s driving a lot of money to the cause.

“Last year was the best so far. I had 60 more people donate than the previous year. This year I’m aiming for the top spot. Every year I hold a barbecue, which works quite well, and I get amazing support at work. I’ve also managed to get more people riding and fundraising themselves. Fingers crossed this year will be even better.”

Choosing a Triumph Bobber Black as his prize, Vincent is having a few custom accessories fitted to make it his own: “There is such potential for customisation, that’s what I like about it. I love the bike as stock but I also love to tweak my bikes. I’m going to put high bars on it, get a custom seat from Corbin, and change the air box and exhaust. And, because I have to ride 80 miles to get fuel, I’m fitting the higher capacity Speedmaster fuel tank. I’m so excited about it.”

“I’m aiming to be in the top three for 2019, but there’s so much competition it’s anyone’s game.”

Rob Fowler – 3rd place

“I actually got into the 2018 DGR with only two months to go. I was at the Bike Shed and saw it advertised and thought I could really help to make a difference,” Rob says. “A friend of mine is depressed as his brother took his own life. It’s a cause that is so close to so many of us.”

Rob’s a West End actor and was performing as the lead in the Bat Out of Hell musical. “I spoke to my producers about putting a call-out at the end of each show. I thought, we’ve got a captive audience here and we could appeal to them to help make such a huge difference. I’ve had incredible support from my producers in helping to raise money for this cause.”

Alongside appealing to his audience, Rob used his social media to create awareness and auctioned off props from the show to raise more money.

“I do tend to throw myself into things!” Rob laughs. “But I was keen to do everything in my power to raise funds.” When it came to the ride, Rob had raised just under £10k. By the time the fundraising closed, he’d raised £20k.

“I realised I was starting to shoot up the rankings, but it’s about showing humanity and gentlemanship. I thought the cut-off was on the eve of the race, so I didn’t put up the money straightaway. I called Vincent, who was just ahead of me, and explained my plan to make sure he still got his position he’d worked so hard for.

“It’s all about the cause. Winning the bike was a really nice surprise. I’ve never owned a brand-new bike and I’ve always been a huge fan of Triumph. I picked a Thruxton R in white. It’s a beautiful bike and it sounds unbelievable.”

Mark Brown – Final Sprint winner

During the final week of fundraising for 2018 there was a surprise additional prize for the rider who raises the most within that period – the week was called the Final Sprint.

“I love motorcycles and always have and men around me have been affected by mental health. Friends and family have been impacted. As guys we don’t really talk about mental health and depression; it’s a common story. Things like the DGR help it become easier and more acceptable to talk about mental health in the open,” says Mark.

“Steve Broholm, from DGR, called me and said, ‘You’ve won the bike.’ I thought it was one of my mates mucking around with me. I was a little bit in shock because I’ve never won anything like that. I managed to get quite a few people to donate in that final week, so I knew I had a chance, but I had no idea I’d win.”

Mark won a matte-black Thruxton R with ‘ton up…’ decal: “It’s got quite a few accessories from the Triumph catalogue on it and custom exhaust. It’s pretty much got everything – top-level suspension etc. I was looking at a few bits from the catalogue I might add, but it’s already well kitted out.

“This year there’s a bit of pressure on to do something big. I’d really like to come first in the Melbourne ride. I was just beaten last year and there’s some personal pride at stake. There’s a really nice friendly competition between the riders, so I’ve never been happier to lose to someone else! With a few new ideas for 2019, hopefully, I can raise more and climb the leader board.”

With the 2019 ride coming up, find out about the DGR and how you can be involved. Read more about past events in the stories below.