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Vaughan begins charity bike ride

Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan has set off on the first leg of a 462-mile charity bike ride that will see a number of sports stars cycling between cricket venues over the next 12 days.

Former England cricketers Phil Tufnell and Andrew Strauss, Olympic medal-winners Victoria Pendleton and Louis Smith, former England footballer Jamie Redknapp and former British tennis number one Tim Henman are all taking part in the Chance to Ride event.

Cricket legend Dickie Bird officially started the ride by sounding the klaxon at Headingley Cricket Ground, home of Yorkshire County Cricket Club in Leeds.

Vaughan was joined by 19 fundraisers who are undertaking the 80-mile first stage which will see them cycle towards the Peak District and the Trans Pennine trail before finishing at Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester. The ride will end in London on September 17.

He said: "There was no better place to start Chance to Ride than at my old home ground on Headingley and I can't think of anyone more suited to sending us off than Dickie Bird.

"I never had the pleasure of playing a Test Match that he officiated but everyone knows what a legend he is in the world game and the fact that he took the time to support us today is a real honour. We're only just starting but the support and fundraising of those taking part or watching the ride will be invaluable as we look to help young people through sport."

The event is raising money for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and the Cricket Foundation's Chance to Shine initiative, which both aim to improve children's lives through the power of sport by providing coaching, education and equipment and instilling sporting values.

Bird said: "I'm passionate about encouraging children to play sport so I was delighted to help Michael launch his event today. I know how much sport means to him and how driven he is to helping Laureus and Chance to Shine provide sporting chances to youngsters. I'd like to wish him and his team the very best of luck."

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