AN Olympic medal winner will join a retired Olympian while he prepares for a gruelling North-East cycling challenge.

Steven Burke, the reigning Olympic gold medalist in the Men’s Team Pursuit, will be supporting athletics legend Jonathan Edwards in preparation for the 2014 Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Pennines event, which takes place in Teesdale this summer.

Burke will offer hints and tips to triple jump world record holder Edwards, as they take on a 45-mile training bike ride in preparation for the Etape event.

As an amateur cyclist, Burke spent many years cycling around the Pennines and expressed his excitement at revisiting his old stomping ground.

He said: “I was born in this part of the world and these are the roads I have cycled on all my life so I know how tough they can be on the legs.

“This event has drummed up quite a reputation amongst cyclists and I have heard the route is pretty demanding so I am looking forward to riding part of it alongside a legend in the world of sport like Jonathan.”

Edwards said he was “relishing the challenge” of the Etape event and added: “It is definitely a big event to take on, it’s tough and the climbs are gruelling but I’ve seen comments from last year’s finishers and the sense of accomplishment seems unbelievable.”

The training bike ride will take place at the end of April.

For information on the 60-mile Etape Pennines event, which takes place on Sunday, July 20, visit