Award-winning chef Simon Gueller, from the renowned Box Tree restaurant in Ilkley, has been announced as the latest cyclist joining former England international footballer and leukaemia survivor, Geoff Thomas, on his Le Tour – One Day Ahead challenge from the 3rd to the 25th July 2015.
Simon has only taken up cycling seriously over the past five years, since recovering from a suspected spinal tumor where he was warned by specialist neurosurgeons that he may never walk, or work in a career that he loved, again. After extensive surgery and lengthy rehabilitation, he finally made it back into the kitchen - and onto his bike. Simon’s competitive instinct saw him quickly discover a talent for cycling, and he now competes in races across the UK and Europe.
Simon’s cycling achievements follow on from his award-winning career in the kitchen, where he has achieved a prestigious Michelin star at each of his three Yorkshire restaurants. Simon has retained his star at The Box Tree – which he runs with his wife Rena - for the last 10 consecutive years.
Simon joining the ride further increases the culinary credentials of the team, which also includes former National Chef of the Year Hayden Groves.
“I am incredibly excited to be joining the team to ride the Tour. I read Geoff’s book soon after I began cycling, and remember feeling both inspired but also envious that he had the opportunity to ride in the most famous cycling race in the world. It’s surreal that I will be joining him to do just that this year.”
“I’m training really hard for the challenge, but thinking about the great work delivered by Cure Leukaemia, is great motivation. It’s incredible to think that the fundraising money we achieve might actually lead to a cure for the disease. I have devoted a large amount of my time to cycling over the last few years, so it is great that it is now going to such a worthwhile cause.”
The 2015 Tour de France marks the tenth anniversary of former England and Crystal Palace footballer Geoff Thomas first completing the Tour de France route in 2005, which he achieved despite only having gone into remission from leukaemia six months previously. This time around Geoff, and a team of 20 other cyclists, will again take to the same roads as the professionals, just one day ahead, in a bid to raise £1 million for Cure Leukaemia.
“I’m delighted that Simon has committed to cycling Le Tour – One Day Ahead with me.
It’s going to be a tough challenge, but having such dedicated and confident riders alongside will help all of us achieve our goal – not just to complete the ride but to raise £1 million for Cure Leukaemia.”
Visit Simon’s fundraising page here - http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/simongueller
Entries for Le Tour – One Day Ahead are still open and to register for one of the final places, or to find out more, visit: www.beforethetour.com