Leeds & West Yorkshire

Rio cycle ride in fundraiser Jane Tomlinson's memory

Mike Tomlinson (centre) with supporters at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Image copyright JANE TOMLINSON APPEAL
Image caption Mr Tomlinson (centre) said he hoped the challenge would remind people of his late wife's inspiring story

A team of cyclists have begun a ride from the UK to Brazil in honour of Jane Tomlinson CBE.

The 3,000 mile (4,828km) ride will mark the 10th anniversary of one undertaken by Mrs Tomlinson before her death.

The Leeds cancer fundraiser cycled 4,200 miles (6,759km) across America in 2006.

Mrs Tomlinson was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2000 and died in 2007 after raising almost £2m for charity.

Her husband, Mike, and a team of supporters, including TV presenter Charlie Webster and ex-Rugby League professionals Keith Senior and Paul Highton, set off from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London on Monday.

'Appropriate to celebrate'

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They hope to arrive in Rio in time for the Olympic opening ceremony on 4 August.

Mr Tomlinson said: "As Jane was an ambassador for the 2012 London Olympics bid, it seemed appropriate to celebrate her life by cycling to Rio.

"Hopefully, the challenge will help us raise some money, but we also hope that by reminding people about Jane's journey, it will inspire other people - and show just what can be possible with courage and determination."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Mrs Tomlinson raised almost £2m for charity before her death

Mr Tomlinson and his team will cycle from London to Portsmouth, then from Caen to Lisbon.

The team will fly from Lisbon to Recife in north east Brazil and then cycle along the Brazilian coast to Rio de Janeiro.

They aim to raise thousands of pounds for the the Jane Tomlinson Appeal which supports children's and cancer services across the country.

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