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Something For The Weekend host takes his first ride on a road bike as he starts training for summer challenge

TV presenter Tim Lovejoy has got his first taste of riding a road bike ahead of taking part in the charity Right To Play’s Liege to London ride next July, leaving the Belgian city the morning after the Tour de France starts there and arriving at London’s Olympic Park three days later.

Lovejoy was co-presenter of Sky Sports’ Saturday morning show, Soccer AM between 1996 and 2007, and more recently has hosted the BBC chat-cum-cookery show, Something For The Weekend.

Coincidentally – or perhaps not – Mark Cavendish was a guest on that programme in early December, little more than a fortnight after he had launched Right To Play’s 2012 Bike Ride, the fourth time the charity has organised such an event to coincide with the Grand Départ of the Tour de France.

That launch was held at the Specialized store in London’s Covent Garden – the US company that supplied Cavendish’s former HTC-Highroad team is also a partner of the charity – and indeed it is that firm that has supplied Lovejoy with the bike and other equipment he’ll be using to train for this summer’s ride.

“The Right To Play bike ride is going to be a real test for me,” confessed Lovejoy after making his first pedal strokes on a road bike, accompanied by two rather more experienced riders, one from the charity, the other from Specialized.

“I am very active and sporty person but cycling is not my thing! However, I enjoyed today’s ride and after a slightly wobbly start I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead,” he added.

If you want to join him on what promises to be a memorable 300-mile journey, places are still available, with full details on the Right To Play website, where you can also read about the charity's work with disadvantaged and vulnerable children around the world.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.