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Rugby legends try their hand in 12 hour Brands Hatch Cyclothon

Friday, September 16 2011

While England challenge for Rugby World Cup glory in New Zealand, a host of former internationals including Rory Underwood MBE and Victor Ubogu took part in the inaugural 12-hour Cyclothon UK event at the legendary Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit yesterday (Thursday).

More than 180 riders split into 32 teams, both experienced and amateurs, travelled to Kent's 2.3 mile Grand Prix loop to take part in the event organised by former England star Ubogu. The race helped raise money for 20 different charities.

Amongst the entry list were more than a dozen top international Rugby Union stars including England and British Lions winger Underwood, who racked up an impressive 245 points for his country from just 85 games, together with England and Bath prop Victor Ubogu. They were joined by fellow England internationals Phil De Glanville, Jon Callard, Ian Hunter, Chris Sheasby, Paul Rendall, Nigel Redman and 2003 World Cup winner Mark Regan. British and Irish Lions fly-half Craig Chalmers, Scotland's David Hilton and Doddie Wier and London Wasps' Rory Jenkins completed the top line-up.

Competitors took part in two lengths of challenge; 12-hour and eight-hour, both beginning at 7:30am. Teams were made up of between four to eight riders, each cycling for as long as possible before dipping into the pit lane to tag their team-mate.

With the circuit hosting the Road Cycling event for next year's Paralympics, some of Britain's leading para-cyclists including Shaun McKeown, Darren Kenny, David Stone, Karen Darke and Rik Waddon increased their knowledge of the Paralympic venue by also lining up for the eight hour challenge.

Speaking on the event Ubogu said: "We were at Brands Hatch for our first Cyclothon UK Relay endurance road cycle race around the Grand Prix circuit. It's good fun; I had 10 of my former rugby internationals and it's been a really good day. It's hard work riding a bike around Brands Hatch."

Meanwhile Underwood added: "I've got more into cycling over the last few years as I do triathlons to try and keep in shape so I'm used to cycling. Brands Hatch is a bit hilly so it has been tough but it's enjoyable and it's a lovely track. It's good to be back with some of my friends from rugby."

Cyclothon UK is expected to return to Brands Hatch next September. 

To purchase tickets for the 2012 Paralympic Road Cycling events at Brands Hatch, visit www.london2012.com. For more information on Brands Hatch visit www.brandshatch.co.uk. Alternatively for further details on Cyclothon 2011 click onto www.cyclothonuk.com.