A COUPLE from Chester and Wirral are preparing to join former F1 World Champion Mika Häkkinen on a charity bike ride from Tuscany to Monaco.

Carrie-Anne Shirley, 40, and Richard Fowles, 49, are undertaking the 200-mile challenge to raise funds for Caudwell Children.

The charity supports disabled children and their families and has enlisted the help of two times F1 champ Häkkinen, who was nicknamed ‘The Flying Finn’, for the event.

Hair stylist Carrie-Anne, from Wallasey, has little experience of road cycling but is confident she’ll complete the challenge on , September 22-24.

She said: “I only started road cycling in March and I’ve done little training on the road.

“However, I’ve done a static ride of 100 miles. Although it was tiring I completed it in good time and I’ve been told static riding can be more difficult than actually riding.”

The event has been organised by former Lithuanian Olympic cyclist Modesta Vzesniauskaite and Caudwell Children.

Carrie-Anne said she and Richard, 49, from Chester, recently tested themselves on the road.

She said: “We did do some hill work last month around the Horseshoe Pass in Llangollen in preparation for the terrain.”

To support the couple visit their Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/