1st August 2019, 14:57 | ChallengeCup
England winger Lee Smith is the latest Rugby League international to sign up to the year’s toughest cycling challenge, the UK Red Ride to Wembley.
The former Leeds Rhinos, Bradford Bulls and England star is preparing to cycle 340 off-road miles from the George Hotel in Huddersfield – the historic birthplace of Rugby League – to the 2019 Coral Challenge Cup final.
Lee made eight appearances for England between 2006 and 2009 and helped Leeds to back-to-back Grand Final victories in 2006 and 2007, when he won the Harry Sunderland Trophy as man of the match playing at full-back against St Helens.
He had two spells in rugby union with Wasps and Newcastle Falcons before bringing a distinguished career to an end in January following a two-year stint at Bradford.
Lee will join a host of other former internationals on the Ride to Wembley, including ex-Leeds team-mate Keith Senior, Kiwi Robbie Hunter-Paul, Nathan McAvoy, Denis Betts and England women legends Andrea Dobson, Kirsty Moroney and Beth Sutcliffe.
“I’m really looking forward to joining the Ride to Wembley, although I’m going to have get some serious miles in on the bike over the next couple of weeks to get my old legs ready,” said Lee.
“It’s going to be tough but it’s for a great cause: Rugby League Cares has helped me make the transition from playing to the next stage of my career and I want to do what I can to raise the funds needed to support other players along the same journey.”
Earlier this year, Lee was awarded an education grant by RL Cares to offset part of the cost of a course at Loughborough University that will pave the way for him to become a sports agent.
The UK Red Ride to Wembley is a gruelling off-road bike ride that will see 24 participants follow bridleways, canal towpaths, green lanes and forest trails over five gruelling days on a route that features 18,000ft of ascent – the equivalent of cycling from sea level to Everest base camp.
The ride departs from outside the George Hotel on Monday August 19 and over the next five days crosses the Pennines, the Peak District, the Cotswolds and the Chilterns before arriving at the RL Legends statue at Wembley on the afternoon of Friday August 23, the eve of the Challenge Cup final.
To sponsor Lee on the Ride to Wembley please click here.