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Winner of charity auction will travel to Tuscany for ride and a meal with former world champion

Fancy riding with Mark Cavendish in the Tuscan hills around his Italian home in Quarrata? Well, one lucky cyclist and a friend will be able to do just that and raise money for the charity Right To Play, which is offering a ride with the former world champion to the highest bidder in an online auction.

The person winning the auction will win for themselves and a friend a four-hour ride with Cavendish as well as lunch or dinner with him, as well as two nights’ accommodation in Quarrata, at a mutually convenient date sometime next year.

Airport transfers to and from Florence, the services of a soigneur, a support car and photographer as well as a signed jersey are also included, although the winner needs to arrange their own flights as well as providing their own bike and kit.

Bidding can be done through this dedicated website and remains open until midnight on 21 December 2014. The current highest bid is £3,100. All proceeds from the auction will go to Right To Play.

Cavendish been an ambassador for the charity, which uses sport and play to transform the lives of disadvantaged children in Africa, the Middle East and Asia helping 1 million youngsters each week, since 2009 and has visited one of its projects in Africa.

He said: “I’m excited to be welcoming two cyclists to ride my favourite local roads in support of Right To Play.

“It’s a cause close to my heart, especially since my trip to Tanzania to see Right To Play’s work first-hand. It’ll be a fun few days but most importantly, it’ll raise funds that make a direct difference to empower children to overcome poverty, conflict and disease.”

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.