STURBRIDGE (CBS) – The Pan-Massachusetts Challenge is underway as thousands of riders started their journey this morning from a pair of locations.

Riders who are peddling to raise money for cancer research were up bright and early Saturday as they started their rides from start lines in Sturbridge and Wellesley.

Wellesley PMC riders begin their route. (WBZ-TV)

Wellesley PMC riders begin their route. (WBZ-TV)

There are a variety of routes riders could choose from. On Saturday, many riders were starting the two-day journey from Sturbridge that is the longest and most challenging ride.

Cyclists who started at Babson College are riding 84 miles to Bourne.

Last year the ride raised $41 million for cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This year the goal is to raise $45 million.

“Thank each and every one of you for being part of my vision and our collective dream,” PMC Executive Director and founder Billy Starr told riders in Sturbridge. “It may not be this year or 20 years, but we truly take this battle against cancer closer by the mile. Whenever this horrible disease ends, we are all a part of it. You’ve got to feel good about that.”

WBZ-TV’s PMC Starting Line Coverage

WBZ is a proud sponsor of the Pan-Mass Challenge. You can watch live coverage of riders finishing at Mass. Maritime Academy from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on CBSBoston.com.

For more information on the Pan-Mass Challenge, visit the organization’s website.

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