Cyclist Gary's Tour de France route charity bid tops £30,000 target
A Fleetwood businessman has topped his charity target as he tackles the same arduous cycle route as the Tour de France.
Gary Apps, 49, owner of the My Fish Company, is tackling the Tour 21 charity initiative in aid of Cure Leukaemia with 24 other amateur cyclists, in memory of his former colleague, Dave Towne.
Dave, who also worked in the fishing industry, died in November last year aged 72 following his battle with cancer and now Gary is bidding to raise £30,000 in his honour.
With just over two weeks of the event to go, donations and pledges have taken Gary over his target - and now his next objective is to help the team, led by former England footballer Geoff Thomas, reach their £1m target.
Gary, of Pilling Lane, Preesall, has only been cycling for two years but was keen to join the others in tackling the tough 2,300 miles course in France over a period of 23 days, including some lung-busting mountain climbs.
The Tour 21 event sees them ride the full distance of the 2021 Tour de France race one week ahead of the professionals, over almost four weeks up to July 11.
Gary said: “I was keen to do it for Dave and for another friend nearing the end of his life who I might not see again.
"I was worried early on that I might be struggling to carry on as I had a knee injury for the first couple of stages, but the back-up team, including physios, is wonderful and they have ensured it has cleared up.
"I'm enjoying the rides, although the biggest tests in the mountains are yet to come, and there is a great team spirit. I'm delighted to have gone over the £30,000 personally and reaching the £1m team target would mean so much for everyone.
"You don't realise when you watch events such as the Tour de France just how much time is taken settling into one hotel after another for one night at a time and all the transportation of gear involved. The cycling is the enjoyable part but I'll certainly never forget the experience. My thanks to everyone who has supported me and the great cause.
"To lose Dave was devastating and I have a lot to thank him for, so I am really keen for this fund-raising challenge to be a success.
"It is actually thanks to Dave that we have the kiln at the My Fish Company; and which actually enabled us to set up the smoking house we are so famous for as a business.
“So I hope to make his family proud while raising much-needed awareness of the incredible work that Cure Leukaemia does.”
Full details of Gary's fund-raising bid at www.justgiving.com › fundraising › gary-apps2
It is thanks to our loyal readers that we can continue to provide the trusted news, analysis and insight that matters to you. For unlimited access to our unrivalled local reporting, you can take out a subscription here and help support the work of our dedicated team of reporters.
Support us and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest football stories and new puzzles every day. With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe