Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton has signed up to join former England cricketer Michael Vaughan on the PruProtect Chance to Ride charity bike ride in September 2013.
Former British track cyclist Pendleton specialised in the sprint, team sprint and keirin disciplines. She represented Great Britain and England in international competition, winning nine world titles including a record six in the individual sprint competition, dominating the event between 2005 and 2012. Pendleton is a former Olympic, European and Commonwealth champion.
In 2012 she won the gold medal in the keirin at the 2012 Summer Olympics, as well as silver in the sprint.
Pendleton commented; “After months of competing against each other during Strictly Come Dancing last year, it will be great to support Michael on his bike ride and help raise funds for charity. I was in Rio for the Laureus Awards earlier this year and it’s great to be able to support organisations that help children through sport. The velodrome in Manchester holds fond memories for me and it will be great to meet some of the fundraisers taking part on the ride.”
The Ashes winning captain, who is cycling in support of Laureus and Chance to Shine charity sports projects, admitted that his training session under the guidance of Bob Barber, the Velodrome’s cycling manager, had been a shock to the system.
Vaughan said: “It was a real honour to cycle around the same track where some of Britain’s greatest cyclists have trained and competed. There is a real aura about the National Cycling Centre and I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to train there.
“I’ve spoken to Victoria Pendleton about her cycling in the past and the training always sounded tough. But doing even just an hour myself reminded me what a big challenge this will be – although it’s also going to be a lot of fun and raise money for great causes. I’ve done a lot of cycling since retiring from cricket but this has been a real wake up call. It was fascinating to learn what I could improve upon and what can help me to get through the bike ride in one piece!”
Former England captain Vaughan will lead a host of stars and fundraisers on the event, which will raise funds for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and the Cricket Foundation’s Chance to Shine initiative. Already confirmed to be taking part are Olympic gymnastics silver medallist Louis Smith and former England Test bowler Phil Tufnell.
Vaughan has undertaken two bike rides for Laureus in the past as well as completing one leg of International Triathlon Union World Championship Series in Hyde Park last year and his training at the Velodrome saw him following the likes of Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Bradley Wiggins and of course, his former Strictly Come Dancing colleague, Victoria Pendleton who all competed there.
The PruProtect Chance to Ride peloton will follow the England v Australia – NatWest One Day International series, starting at Headingley, Leeds, on September 6 and traveling to each of the venues before ending in London on September 17. Each of the four stages will include a healthy mix of cycling and a day (or days) at the cricket.
The bike ride is open to cyclists of all abilities and the organisers will provide training and fundraising advice to participants.
If you are interested in registering for any of the individual stages or taking part in the whole 12 day challenge and raising funds for Laureus and Chance to Shine, do not delay, please visit www.chancetoride.co.uk