Riding with seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, while raising money for a cause that had affected his family personally, was the perfect combination for Shawn Bravender.

“Cancer ... has impacted many members of my family and friends growing up,” he said.

“I myself have four daughters and three sisters, and the odds are one in nine women in Canada can expect to get breast cancer.”

Before Bravender and 44 other cyclists join Lance in Jasper today, they were able to meet the cycling star and hear about his experiences at a luncheon hosted at the Shaw Conference Centre yesterday.

“I think it’s a fantastic experience,” said Bravender about cycling with Armstrong.

Riding the 100-kilometre route wasn’t the biggest challenge for Bravender — it’s raising the required $25,000 to reserve a spot.

“One way or another I’m getting it,” he exclaimed. “I’m open to donations ... the need for funds for breast cancer doesn’t end Thursday.”

The fundraising goal for this one-time event is $1.7 million.