Charity cyclists take on Alps challenge

Basit Khan, consultant in colorectal surgery and clinical lead for endoscopy at Airedale Hospital, Julie Blackburn, sister on the endoscopy unit at Airedale Hospital with Ray Cryer, Kevin Wharton, Christa Baldwin and Kevin Owens.  (8417339)

Basit Khan, consultant in colorectal surgery and clinical lead for endoscopy at Airedale Hospital, Julie Blackburn, sister on the endoscopy unit at Airedale Hospital with Ray Cryer, Kevin Wharton, Christa Baldwin and Kevin Owens. (8417339)

First published in News Craven Herald: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy Editor

FOUR cyclists and their support team will be taking on the Alps in a bid to raise £10,000 for charity, including Airedale Hospital’s Endoscopy Appeal.

Christa Baldwin, 34, Kevin Wharton, 60, Ray Cryer, who at the time of the ride will be 66, and Kevin Owens, 60, will begin the cycle challenge in August, cycling 1,200 miles, climbing 50,000 feet and taking in 12 iconic Tour de France ascents along the way.

Kevin Wharton, a member of Skipton Rotary Club, said: “Like many other people I have lost family and friends to cancer, for many early diagnosis would have given them a better chance of survival. Airedale’s endoscopy unit provides the opportunity for early diagnosis for many life threatening conditions.”

The Grand Depart will take place in the small village of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in Provence. From here the group will cycle through France, finishing in Zeebrugge, in Belgium, before taking the overnight ferry to Hull and finally finishing their tour at Airedale Hospital on Saturday, August 23 where they will be met by friends, family and members of staff.

Christa is cycling in memory of her mum, who died after a late diagnosis of cancer.

She said: “Being a primary school teacher I want to inspire the children I teach as well as other female cyclists. I am cycling for Airedale’s endoscopy unit as it helps with the early diagnosis of many illnesses including cancer, which is particularly poignant for me.”

The group are all keen cyclists, with two of the four having cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise money, but they have never taken on a challenge as big as this before and are currently hard at work training.

Other charities that will benefit are Breast Cancer Care, the Army Benevolent Fund soldiers’ charity and the Rotary Foundation.

To support the team with their fundraising , visit legrandvelo.info

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