British sporting legends Lawrence Dallaglio and Andrew Flintoff have departed Olympia, Greece on their epic 1,700 mile, 22 day charity ride to London’s Olympic Park.
The pair, who will be joined by 250 riders for various sections of the Cycle Slam, are hoping to raise over £2m for their own charities and with the total so far already through the million pound barrier, they look to be well on their way.
With good luck messages from Prince Harry and Prime Minister David Cameron ringing in their ears, the pair began the first of five stages in the birth place of the Olympic Games. With 521km to cover before they start stage 2 on the Italian Riviera on 28 April, they have no time to ease their way into the ride. They will cycle up through Italy, through the Swiss Alps, up through France (including the Paris-Roubaix course) before finishing in London on 18 May.
Dallaglio, a veteran of two Cycle Slams, completed the first from Rome to Edinburgh in 2010 but reckons this year’s tops the lot in terms of difficulty.
“These distances wouldn’t look out of place on the Tour de France and when you’re built like Freddie and I, it’s no wonder we’ve had a few sleepless nights. It is going to require my years of competitive experience and mental resilience. Not to mention some decent music whilst I’m climbing”.
All of the money raised will support the Dallaglio Foundation (supporting a major prostate cancer project), the AF Foundation (supporting the development of children’s rehabilitation and physiotherapy units throughout the UK) and Virgin Unite (the not-for-profit foundation, helping young people in the UK to increase their employability and entrepreneurialism, as well as tackling other important issues for young people).
The Cycle Slam is being supported by retailer Halfords who, along with bikes from the Boardman Performance range, has provided four mechanics to follow the tour and service every mechanical problem that a 1,700 mile ride serves up.
For more information on the challenge, visit the event website.
- 23 April: Stage 1, departure from Olympia, Greece, 521km / 4,740m elevation
- 28 April: Stage 2, Italian Riviera, 728km / 6,107m
- 4 May: Stage 3, Strade Bianche, 562km / 6,576m
- 10 May: Stage 4, Swiss Alps, 483km / 4,829m
- 15 May: Stage 5, Champagne, 578km / 4,551m
- 18 May: Ashford, Kent to the finish line in London