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Almost 100 saddle-weary sore cyclists proudly reached the Arc De Triomphe this afternoon after completing the 226-mile Laureus London to Paris Bike Ride in aid of international sports community projects.

The three-day ride set off for Portsmouth on Thursday (June 24) morning, and continued via Ouistreham, near Caen in Normandy through the historic location of Bernay and then a 100 mile final day through Evreux and Versailles, before finishing at the Arc de Triomphe in the centre of Paris.

The cyclists, most of whom are employees of event partner St. James’s Place Wealth Management, expect to raise a total of £200,000 for the Laureus Urban Stars Programme, a youth, sport and development initiative aimed at inner city young people. The event is aimed at raising funds to support the replication of this successful London programme into other UK cities.

Five time Tour de France winner and Laureus World Sports Academy Member, Miguel Indurain and former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan, both ambassadors for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, joined the riders along the route.

Miguel Indurain, a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy said: “The dedication of the amateur riders has been outstanding and I really enjoyed cycling with them through France. Laureus does so much important work to help improve the lives of young people and this event will continue to grow while we raise vital funds for our programmes.”

Michael Vaughan said: “I thought that facing the might of a Test attack would be the most physically demanding sporting challenge of my career but this ride has really tested my endurance levels. It’s been a lot of fun and it’s been great to meet so many new people who are pushing themselves in the name of such a good cause.”

Based in inner cities around the UK, this multi-sports programme is delivered by the Active Communities Network which is committed to the use of sports, arts and cultural activities to improve youth citizenship, social inclusion and community cohesion.

The initial project is supported by Laureus and was developed in London. The aim of this fundraising initiative is to expand the programme into other cities around the UK.

Laureus Sport for Good Foundation was founded 10 years ago and now supports 78 projects in 32 countries. Laureus has seen first-hand the positive effect that sport has in tackling some of the world's most challenging social issues from mental health, HIV/Aids, and substance abuse to crime, social exclusion, and violence.

Spain's Miguel Indurain, indisputably one of the greatest cyclists of all time, accomplished one of the most spectacular feats in sport when he became the first man to win the Tour de France, the world's premier distance cycling event, five times in succession, from 1991-95. In 1996 he also won the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Atlanta in the individual time trial.

Michael Vaughan was the first England cricket captain in almost 20 years to win the Ashes against Australia when he guided England to victory in 2005. He captained England in 51 Tests between 2003 and 2008, winning an England record 26 Tests.

Laureus is a universal movement that celebrates the power of sport to bring people together as a force for good. Laureus is composed of three core elements - the Laureus World Sports Academy, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation and the Laureus World Sports Awards - which collectively celebrate sporting excellence and harness the power of sport to promote social change.

Indurain is a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy, a unique association of 46 of the greatest living sporting legends. The Academy members volunteer their time to act as global ambassadors for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation by using their influence to highlight the plight of disadvantaged children and supporting humanitarian projects around the world. Vaughan is a Friend and Ambassador for Laureus.

The mission of the Laureus Foundation is to utilise the power of sport to address social challenges through a global programme of sports-related community development initiatives. Currently there are 78 projects around the world supported by Laureus. Since its inception Laureus has raised over €35 million for sports-based projects which have helped to improve the lives of more than one million young people.


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