Cycling fan paves the way for the sport's heroes

Darlington and Stockton Times: Mike Hughes - ready for action. Mike Hughes - ready for action.

CYCLING enthusiast Mike Hughes will not just be following this year’s Tour de France when it comes to Yorkshire – he will be among those leading the way.

Mr Hughes has been selected to ride the opening stage of the Grand Départ, just hours before the sport's legends take on the same course.

A licensed property specialist from York, he has raised more than £10,000 over the last three years for charity and has set himself a new fundraising challenge which he says “is going to be very special".

He has pledged to raise £19,000 for Marie Curie, the official charity partner of the Tour de France, by taking part in the Power Peloton ahead of the beginning of the first stage.

The event will see 25 riders take on the first stage of the Tour and the elite group will have their own podium finish, before their cycling heroes cross the line.

Mr Hughes will complete the first stage of the Tour beginning in Leeds, travelling on to Harrogate, York and Sheffield before heading south for the third stage from Cambridge to London.

He will then set off from London for Paris on July 24, and his journey will come to an end on the Champs-Elysees on July 27, as he rides down the straight just before the climax of the big race.

"My challenges in the past have included cycling to Paris twice, and completing a stage of the Tour de France over the Alps,” he said.

“But to start off on the day of the Grand Depart and finish on the morning of the climax of the whole Tour de France in Paris is going to very special. Tough, but very special."

Those wishing to support Mr Hughes can donate online at justgiving.com/mjdhughes or by sending the text MJDH64 (amount) to 70070.

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