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Maria Shriver, Gavin Newsom, 'Glee' star to join benefit ride to San Simeon

More than 1,500 people are expected to participate Saturday in the eighth annual Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle.

Hundreds of bicyclists will set out from Carmel at 7:30 a.m., with others joining at starting points in Big Sur and Ragged Point on their way south on Highway 1 to the finish line at Old San Simeon Village.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Lauren Potter of the television show “Glee” are expected to join former California First Lady Maria Shriver on the ride to raise funds for Best Buddies.

Shriver’s brother Anthony Kennedy Shriver founded Best Buddies International. The group has established a global volunteer movement to creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Also expected to take part are actors Harry Hamlin, Verne Troyer, Teri Hatcher, Cheryl Hines, Kelly Hu and Lisa Rinna; professional cyclists Meredith Miller, Ken Hanson, and Bob Stapleton; television personality Nancy O’Dell; and politicians Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, state Sen. Michael J. Rubio and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis will lead a round of “Friendship Races” at Hearst Ranch in the afternoon. The day concludes with a barbecue and private concert by Smash Mouth at the Hearst Ranch.

To take part, participants pledge to raise amounts starting at $1,650. Best Buddies Challenges are also planned in Washington D.C., in October, and at Hyannis Port, Mass., in June.

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