Amateur cyclist to join a pair of sporting legends

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A CYCLIST from north Oxfordshire has been selected for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join two celebrities on a cycling adventure in April.

Darren Ball will be accompanying cricket legend Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff and rugby hero Lawrence Dallaglio on a 22-day charitable cycling adventure across Europe.

Mr Ball will be embarking on a stage of the 2,862km Dallaglio Flintoff CycleSlam 2012, supported by Virgin Media, to raise money for three charities - Virgin Unite, the AF Foundation and the Dallagio Foundation.

Mr Ball, 40, was selected to join the ride through Virgin Media, which gave staff members the opportunity to apply for the cycle ride.

Since being awarded a place on the cycle, Darren spent a day in London with both Dallaglio and Flintoff to meet the sporting heroes and get some training tips in the run up to the event.

He is currently training for the fifth leg of the epic route between Greece and the UK, which involves a 568km four-day ride through France and its famous Champagne region until reaching the finish line in London. The stage runs from May 15 to 18.

He is aiming to fundraise £3,000 towards Dallagio and Flintoff’s fundraising target of £2,012,000.

Both Freddie and Lawrence will cycle the full distance, joined by eight other core riders and 250 other riders at the various five stages.

For more information on the Dallaglio Flintoff Cycle Slam 2012 supported by Virgin Media, visit