LONDON, February 14, 2013 – Strictly Come Dancing champion Louis Smith and former England Test bowler Phil Tufnell have announced that they will be joining Michael Vaughan on his UK-wide charity bike ride this September.
Gymnastic star Smith won a silver medal on the pommel horse at the London Olympic Games last summer and in December, with partner Flavia Cacace, won the 2012 Strictly Come Dancing competition, in which Michael Vaughan also competed. In 2008 in Beijing, Smith also won an Olympic bronze medal on the pommel horse.
Former England spin bowler and I’m a Celebrity – Get Me Out of Here winner Tufnell, played in 42 Test matches and 20 One Day Internationals. He is currently a regular on BBC quiz show Question of Sport.
Michael Vaughan will lead a host of stars and a group of fundraisers on the Michael Vaughan Bike Ride, a cycle tour with a difference; combining cycling, celebrities and cricket.
The former England cricket captain launched the ‘Michael Vaughan Bike Ride’ at Lord’s Cricket Ground last month and set out his plans to cycle 462 miles in 12 days (September 6-17) to raise funds for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and the Cricket Foundation’s Chance to Shine initiative.
The peloton will follow the England v Australia - NatWest One Day International series, starting at Headingley, Leeds, on 6 September 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.
Cyclists on the first two stages – Leeds to Manchester and Manchester to Birmingham - will also enjoy the National Cycling Centre Experience. They will have the opportunity to have a go at the Manchester Velodrome, try out the brand new BMX track and Mountain Bike trails and test speed and endurance on the Watt Bikes within the Velodrome circuit.
Michael is looking for 50 fundraisers per stage to join him and his band of cricketers, commentators, sports stars and other celebrities on this unique challenge.
The Michael Vaughan 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.laureus.com/michaelvaughanbikeride or chancetoshine.org
Speaking while on the final leg of their Strictly Come Dancing tour, Louis Smith said: “I’m always up for a challenge and this seems like an exciting one! When Michael mentioned it to me I jumped at the chance to be involved: not only will it be a fantastic way to travel the country, we’ll also be raising money for two really important sports charities. Sport’s played such a major role in my life and I strongly believe in its power to change young lives.”
The itinerary for the ride is:
Friday, 6 Sept: First One Day International, Headingley, Leeds
Saturday, 7 Sept: Leeds to Manchester (80 miles)
Sunday, 8 Sept: Second One Day International, Old Trafford, Manchester
Monday, 9 Sept: Cycle Challenge at the Manchester Velodrome
Tuesday, 10 Sept: Manchester to Birmingham (91 miles)
Wednesday, 11 Sept: Third One Day International, Edgbaston, Birmingham
Thursday, 12 Sept: Birmingham to Brecon Beacons (86 miles)
Friday, 13 Sept: Brecon Beacons to Cardiff (55 miles)
Saturday, 14 Sept: Fourth One Day International, Swalec Stadium, Cardiff
Sunday, 15 Sept: Cardiff to Southampton (80 miles)
Monday, 16 Sept: Fifth One Day International, Aegeas Bowl, Southampton
Tuesday, 17 Sept: Southampton to London (70 miles)