CYCLING star Geraint Thomas will be making a pit stop in the Ribble Valley for a new 100-mile charity cycle challenge.

The top Welsh pedaller, who received an MBE for his contribution to the sport, will be greeting riders at the Cross Pennine 100 cycling event.

The Team GB Olympic gold medallist, who is currently competing in the Tour de France, will welcome riders as they reach the finishing line for the challenge in aid of children’s charity Action Medical Research.

Riders on the 100-mile, or an alternative, shorter 100km route, will set off from the Roefield Sports and Leisure Centre in Clitheroe and head out over the scenic and hilly course.

On the longer version they will take in areas of the Forest of Bowland, Ribblehead Viaduct, the Yorkshire Dales and parts of southern Cumbria.

Cyclists taking part in the inaugural event, to be held on Sunday, July 31, will be raising money to help fund medical research into conditions affecting young children, including premature birth, cerebral palsy, meningitis and epilepsy.

The challenge is one of 22 graded events as part of the charity’s 100 Series of one-day bike rides taking place across the UK.

Mr Thomas, who is the charity’s cycling ambassador, said: “Action Medical Research funds vital work to help children affected by disease and disabilities, who struggle with everyday life. I’m really looking forward to being part of this new event. There are still places available so please join me for a fantastic day out on the bike.”

More than 100 people have registered to take part in the event and organisers are expecting 200 cyclists to take part on the day.

Event organiser Val Hogg, said: “This is our first road cycling event in Lancashire so we’re really hoping local riders will join us.

"We’re also thrilled that cycling star Geraint Thomas MBE is taking time out of his busy training and racing schedule to come along and meet people.”

Organisers are hoping to raise around £20,000 from the event.

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