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Tesco managers take on Tour de France climbs for Diabetes UK
9:00am Wednesday 4th September 2013 in News
Two Tesco managers in Bradford are set to brave some of the toughest climbs in the Tour de France to raise money for Diabetes UK.
Steve Dawson and Carl Foster, of the Queensbury and Peel Centre stores, will tackle the gruelling endurance challenge on May 2 and 3 next year.
Both men are relative novices to cycling, but are aiming to raise at least £2,000 each for the charity by completing the ride between Modane and Alpe D’Huez.
“We’re just two normal guys, so it’s going to be a real test,” said Mr Dawson, 40. “I’ve only been cycling for a year, so for a formerly overweight middle-aged professional, getting round the course will be a massive achievement.”
The ride takes in three of the famous race’s most iconic summits – the Col du Télégraphe (1,566m), the Col du Galibier (2,556m), the highest point on the Tour de France route, and Alpe d’Huez (1,850m).
During the 110km course, cyclists will climb a total of almost 4,000m on gradients as steep as seven per cent.
“I’m quite a competent runner, but I’ve never attempted anything like this before,” said Mr Foster, 39.
“It’s not just the distance but the altitude involved. I’m confident that mentally I’ll be fine, but I need to make sure that physically I’m in the right place.”
Both men are starting to up the ante in their training regimes, which for Mr Dawson has already yielded impressive results.
“I’ve been getting up at the crack of dawn to cycle to work, and I’m doing over 200 miles a week,” he said.
“It’s been a huge change for me, but people are saying I look a different man.”
Both men said the lure of such a good cause – there are three million people being treated for diabetes in the UK – coupled with the chance to experience the legendary route had motivated them to take on the challenge.
“It’s amazing how many people are affected by diabetes, so it’s a great cause to get behind,” said Mr Dawson.
“There is something liberating about being in the outdoors, and I can’t wait to see the scale of the mountains up close.”
Mr Foster said: “Diabetes impacts upon more people than you think.
“This is a great chance to help, and the ride is just an opportunity of a lifetime.”
Anyone wishing to sponsor or make donations towards the event can do so in-store or via the JustGiving website.
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