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BOSTON– Start thinking Lycra-Spandex.

Registration to ride in the 28th annual Pan-Massachusetts Challenge opens through the PMC Web site, www.pmc.org, on Tuesday, Jan. 16, at 9 a.m.

Open to just 4,500 cyclists, the PMC will be held on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 4 and 5. The ride is the nation’s original fund-raising bike-a-thon and today raises more money than any other athletic fund-raising event in the country. This year’s goal is to raise $27 million for the Jimmy Fund, which supports cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. To date, the PMC has raised more than $171 million for the world-renowned cancer research center.

Cyclists can choose from nine routes that pass through 46 Massachusetts cities and towns, over one or two days. Two-day cyclists can ride the original 192-mile Sturbridge to Provincetown route, the 180-mile Sturbridge-Bourne-Wellesley route, the 163-mile Wellesley-Bourne-Provincetown route, or the 153-mile Wellesley-Bourne-Wellesley route. One-day cyclists can ride the 111-mile Sturbridge-Bourne route, the 84-mile Wellesley-Bourne route, the 72-mile Sturbridge-Wellesley route, the 68-mile Bourne to Wellesley route, or, new this year, the 50-mile Wellesley to Wellesley route. Minimum fund-raising requirements range from $1,200 to $3,600, depending upon the route chosen. The most popular routes typically fill up within weeks.

Cyclists can choose from nine routes that pass through 46 Massachusetts cities and towns, over one or two days. Two-day cyclists can ride the original 192-mile Sturbridge to Provincetown route, the 180-mile Sturbridge-Bourne-Wellesley route, the 163-mile Wellesley-Bourne-Provincetown route, or the 153-mile Wellesley-Bourne-Wellesley route. One-day cyclists can ride the 111-mile Sturbridge-Bourne route, the 84-mile Wellesley-Bourne route, the 72-mile Sturbridge-Wellesley route, the 68-mile Bourne to Wellesley route, or, new this year, the 50-mile Wellesley to Wellesley route. Minimum fund-raising requirements range from $1,200 to $3,600, depending upon the route chosen. The most popular routes typically fill up within weeks.

“Many people have personal connections to cancer so the demand to participate in the PMC, where they can make such a real difference, increases every year,” said Billy Starr, PMC founder and executive director. “Our new route for 2007 will spread out cyclists across the state, keep the roads safe for all riders, and allow more people an outlet to use their energy to raise money and fund life-saving research.”

Connecting athleticism to charitable fund-raising was a new idea in 1980 when Starr and 35 of his friends rode across Massachusetts and raised $10,200 for cancer research. Today, the PMC is a family of thousands who return to Massachusetts from around the world, year after year, committed to a common goal — a world without cancer. More than 200 PMC cyclists and volunteers are cancer survivors.

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