Colombian Esteban Chaves has revealed a surprising twist for his inaugural Gran Fondo Esteban Chaves, with participants signing up for a race of life, rather than a traditional race on the bike.

Launched last month with the promise people from all corners of the globe can be involved, the likes of Eddy Merckx, Purito Rodriguez, Mathew Hayman, Paolo Bettini, Mariana Pajón and Annemiek Van Vleuten and numerous Colombian musicians and celebrities.

"Bike racing has changed my life and now we have the opportunity to use it to change the lives of even more children," said Chaves.

“In 2013 I was incredibly lucky to come across Dr Sandoval after so many doctors told me my career was over, and now I want to give more smiles to more children, like the one Dr. Sandoval gave me."

The initial funds raised will go to funding an operation that will potentially given Colombian youngster Kevin the chance to walk again, with four other children in line to receive operations if enough money is raised.

“I met Kevin during my time off the bike this year and his spirit and passion for life has been truly inspirational for me these past months. We want to help him, and kids like him that don’t have the money, to improve their quality of life alone."

The larger goal of the fund-raising initiative is to see a specialist facility for the support of disadvantaged children established.

“It’s true our dreams are big, but together we can make them reality," said Chaves. "Every contribution, big or small, will help so please join us in this dream.”

To make a donation, visit https://vaki.co/vaki/granfondoestebanchaves