Olympian rides TDF route for charity

Olympic sailing medallist and cancer survivor Kevin Mahaney plans to ride this year's Tour route to

Olympic sailing medallist and cancer survivor Kevin Mahaney plans to ride this year's Tour route to

Former US Olympian and cancer survivor Kevin Mahaney is set to ride all 2,241 miles of the 2005 Tour de France route this July to raise money for the Tyler Hamilton Foundation (THF) and the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF). Mahaney's Tour de France Challenge 2005 (TDFC) is being backed by Destination Cycling, who will ensure that the 43 year old has the necessary support to complete what many people deem the most gruelling bike race in the world.

Having a close family friend with multiple sclerosis and having himself overcome cancer in 1993, Mahaney has chosen THF (multiple sclerosis) and LAF (cancer survivorship) as the TDFC beneficiaries. "Tyler and Lance inspire me and, like them, I am not complacent with the status quo. I am dreaming of something impossible that hopefully will encourage others to do the same."

In 1992, Mahaney won an Olympic silver medal in sailing and the prestigious title of Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. In 1995, he founded and skippered the America's Cup defence team 'Young America'. In 2002, Mahaney set out a three-year plan to get into cycling shape, bought a bike and started training. Earlier this year he approached Destination Cycling to provide him with technical support.

"Destination Cycling is in the business of making people's dream vacations possible, no matter how big that dream might be," said Joe Tonon, Destination Cycling's founder and director. "It's a major feat to ride 2,241 miles in a year, so to do it in one month, just days before the professional racers pedal through, is extraordinary. The logistics of this ride are daunting as well, but the Destination Cycling team is up for the challenge."

Mahaney will be supported by a team of eight riders, a coach, a mechanic, and three trainers. The team will follow the same exact route as the 2005 Tour de France, covering all 21 stages and a total distance of 2,241 miles (3,606 kilometres). The team will ride the route the day before the professional peloton.

Besides underwriting all trip expenses, Kevin has donated to the TDFC $1 per kilometre cycled. Destination Cycling is matching Kevin's donation. Net proceeds raised from the Tour de France Challenge 2005 will be contributed to the Tyler Hamilton Foundation and Lance Armstrong Foundation. Individual supporters are encouraged to donate to the Tour de France Challenge online at
http://www.active.com/donate/tdfchallenge2005.

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