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Ride to Rio Team reach final stages of epic challenge

Mike Tomlinson leads the team in Brazil

A team of cyclists riding from London to Rio in tribute to the late inspirational Jane Tomlinson are just days from completing their near-3,000 mile challenge.

The team, which includes Jane’s husband Mike, TV presenter Charlie Webster and ex-Rugby League stars Keith Senior and Paul Highton, are now just 200 miles away from their destination of Rio de Janeiro – having cycled over 2,500 miles over 36 days.

Today, the team will get back into the saddle for the final four days before – hopefully – riding into Rio on Thursday.

The team begin the challenge at the Olympic Stadium in London

The remarkable challenge is taking place exactly 10 years after the late amateur athlete Jane Tomlinson CBE embarked on her 4,200 mile ride across America and is being staged to celebration Jane’s achievements and raise money to continue her legacy.

Mike Tomlinson said: “We’re on the homeward stretch now, which seems a miracle in itself. There were certainly times when I wasn’t sure we’d get there. We’ve experienced some unpredictable conditions in Brazil, not least the Highway of Death as it is known locally – for obvious reasons.

“We’ve had to take diversions to try to stay safe and there have been a lot of very long, very hot, days.”

However, despite a trip to the hospital for multiple injuries after an accident, Mike says the challenge still cannot compare to Jane’s endeavours in America in 2006.

Nothing will ever compare to what Jane achieved. She did all of this and more and was truly, dreadfully ill. This honestly is nothing compared to what she went through.

– Mike Tomlinson

The challenge aims to raise thousands of pounds for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal to carry on Jane’s legacy, supporting children’s and cancer services across the country.

A share of the money raised from the Rio Challenge will also go to support Rugby League Cares, a dedicated charity supporting the Rugby League family and its local communities.