A GALASHIELS dad hopes to raise money for Borders children by cycling one of the toughest stages of the Tour de France on Sunday.
Father-of-two Richard Moore has been training for 18 months to take on the 130-mile closed-road section in the Massif Central and fulfil a lifelong dream.
Richard, of Elwyn Terrace, admitted: “This will be unbelievably hard for me and will take me about 10 hours to complete.”
His 40th birthday present to himself will see him join up to 10,000 others on the Acte II stage of l’Etape du Tour, taking place a week after the pros blasted through. The official sportive is supported by the Tour de France organisers – and even they describe it as “a real leg-breaker”.
The highest point of the mountainous ride is 1,589m and the route takes in eight official climbs (three Category 2s, three Category 3s and two Category 4s).
“This ride is going to hurt and if you don’t reach certain points within defined times then you are not allowed to continue, “ said Richard.
His choice of charity came about after an accidental meeting with Borders Childrens Charity (BCC) fundraisers in a big red London bus.
“I didn’t want the money I raised to be swallowed up in a big national charity. I’ve done that before when I raised money for Macmillan after my Dad died 10 years ago, walking the Three Peaks (Britain’s highest mountains).
I came across BCC when shopping in Peebles when they toured with their London bus last year and really felt that this would be a great cause to support because it would benefit local kids and so make a real difference to the community.”
The lifelong cyclist, who enjoys Sunday morning club runs and occasional sportives, ramped up his training starting with two-hour 25-mile loops to nearly eight-hour rides covering 140 miles.
He completed the 87-mile Kinross sportive in April and, two weeks ago. the local 108-mile Braw Lad Baw Breaker organised by Gala cycling club.
“It’s always been an ambition of mine to do the Etape and my wife Clare consented to all the training I’ve needed this year because I’m 40 in October: it’s my mid-life crisis.”
Richard, who works in IT for RBS, continued: “This is going to be a seriously hard ride, with climbs unlike anything in the Borders – and there are so many of them. The fastest pro is likely to be twice as fast as me. The heat will be something I’ve not trained for here, either. And 33 per cent of riders do not complete this ride.”
Richard has raised more than £1,400 for BCC already and hopes to bump that up to about £2,000. See www.justgiving.com/richard-2011 to help.