Strictly Come Cycling: King of the Dance Floor and King of the Jungle sign up for Michael Vaughan Bike Ride

Olympic double medallist and Strictly Come Dancing champion, Louis Smith, announced today (Friday, 8 February) that he will be joining Michael Vaughan on his UK-wide charity bike ride this September.

Former England spin bowler and I’m a Celebrity winner, Phil ‘Tuffers’ Tufnell, will also take part in the cycling challenge. Michael will lead a host of stars and a group of fundraisers on 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 (6-17 September) 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 ODI venues before ending in London on 17 September. 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 on the 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.

Speaking while on the final leg of their Strictly Come Dancing tour, Louis 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.”

Phil said: I’ve taken on some crazy challenges in my time, but this one is going to be really tough. I’m looking forward to getting on the saddle and getting stuck in.”

Michael added: “It’ll be wonderful to have Louis and Phil on this charity bike ride. Louis is a true champion – whatever he puts his mind to he achieves. Tuffers is terrific entertainment and the perfect companion on tour. I’m going to need all the help I can get with this challenge! This bike ride is going to be so special and it’s an absolute must for anyone who loves cricket and cycling.”

The itinerary for the ride is:

Stage 1:

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

 

Stage 2:

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

 

Stage 3:

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

 

Stage 4:

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)

 

The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation uses sport as the means to combat some of the world’s toughest social challenges facing young people today such as juvenile crime, gangs, gun and knife violence, HIV/AIDS, discrimination, social exclusion, landmines awareness and health problems like obesity. Since its inception, Laureus has raised over £60 million to support its work around the world.

Before the Cricket Foundation launched Chance to Shine in 2005, fewer than 10% of state schools played competitive cricket. Seven years on, Chance to Shine has linked 1,000 cricket clubs to 6,500 schools and their specialist coaches have brought cricketing opportunities to 1.8 million state school children. Young people involved in the programme are also developing essential life skills and values, such as leadership, discipline, teamwork and understanding how to win and lose.

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