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Wales rugby great Shane Williams to ride 800 miles on Zwift for charity

Ex-British & Irish Lion says he was inspired by Geraint Thomas's fundraiser last week...

Ex-Wales and British & Irish Lions rugby union star Shane Williams plans to ride nearly 800 miles on Zwift in seven days, having been inspired to do so by Geraint Thomas’s three 12-hour rides on the platform last week that have raised more than £340,000 for the NHS.

Williams, who holds the record for the number of tries scored for Wales and like the Team Ineos rider is a past winner of the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year, aims to ride 774 miles, starting on Wednesday.

The distance reflects the total he would have ridden in sportives this year that have either been cancelled or postponed, or which seem likely to be as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 43-year-old is aiming to raise money for charities that he would have been raising funds for through taking part in those events, including the Velindre Cancer Centre, of which he is patron.

“These charities need our help more than ever,” Williams wrote on his page on Virgin Money Giving.

“So, I have set myself the challenge of cycling 774 miles using the indoor cycling app - Zwift.

“I’ll be starting my ride at 8am on Wednesday 22nd April and continuing every day after until the 774 miles are complete.

“I am encouraging as many people as possible to get involved and join me on this challenge.

“All you need to do to join my private Zwift friends group is donate a minimum of £25. All other donations are welcomed and greatly appreciated.

“Once you have donated, add me on Zwift and ride with me by searching my user name 'Shane Williams 11'.

“You can do any number of miles you want and ride as fast or slow as you like, the main thing is getting involved and raising funds. Zwift will track everything so you can pick up each day where you left off.”

Williams added: “I’ll be going live on Facebook for the whole duration of the ride as well as holding some Zoom / House Party socials too so you can follow my progress and send me encouraging messages of support as I'm sure I'll need them!

“Let's get ready to do our bit and make a difference to our NHS and frontline staff who are working so hard in the toughest of times.”

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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