Track star Craig MacLean was on hand to launch the 2012 Liverpool-Chester-Liverpool ride last Friday.

The former world champion and Olympic silver medallist is helping to promote the 19th running of the ride, which is run in aid of Claire House Children’s Hospice on Sunday, July 8. Participants will have a rare opportunity to ride through the Mersey tunnel during the ride.

“It’s a fantastic event for families to get involved in, cyclists of all levels can do it with the choice of routes,” said Craig MacLean.

“It’s one of the very few days cyclists can pass through the Mersey tunnel, which is an experience in itself. With nearly three miles under the Mersey, it’s going to be different to anything they’ve ever done before.”

Five routes are available, providing a challenge for any level of cyclist. The Wirral Circular, Chester-Liverpool, Liverpool-Chester routes are all 25 miles in length. The Liverpool-Chester-Liverpool route is 50 miles and the Liverpool Challenge, taking on Delamere Forest, is 90 miles.

Despite his sprinter’s build that is more suited to intense bursts of speed rather than miles in the saddle, MacLean says he’s going to give the event a go.

“The more people we can get on bikes the better; cycling in this area has certainly experienced a boom so it’s great to see all these people on bikes.

“I’m going to give it a go, I’ll try and pick the shorter route as I’m not really made for big miles, being a track sprinter, but I’ll be here on the 8th of July. I hope to see lots of people there!”

Last year’s Liverpool-Chester-Liverpool raised in excess of £22,000 for Claire House Children’s Hospice. This year, organiser Pennine Events is hoping to attract 3,000 riders.

For more information on the event, point your web browser to the Liverpool-Chester-Liverpool website.