It’s known by cyclists as one of the benchmark cycling sportives and the countdown is on for Fred Meades as he sets off for Megève to take on Etape de Tour - the biggest amateur cycling race, just days before the elite cyclists themselves.
Fred, 55 from Inkbeerrow in Redditch will join 15,000 others as they descend on Megève, France this weekend to ride the prestigious event with thousands more lining the streets.
The 146km ride which takes in four famous climbs, is the penultimate stage of this year’s Tour de France and one of the toughest.
With the help of over 11 tonnes of bananas, 3.4 tonnes of apples and oranges, 350kg of Beaumont cheese and 55,000 litres of water along the route, Fred will be motivated in the saddle by his bid to raise vital funds for his two chosen charities: Cure Leukaemia and Target Ovarian Cancer.
The nerves will understandable be kicking in to Fred ahead of his challenge but he was also inspired to cycle by Cure Leukaemia Patron Geoff Thomas, who both train at the same gym in Bromsgrove.
In 2015, Geoff cycled the entire Tour de France route with a team of 11 amateur riders and he offered words of encouragement to Fred:
“L’Étape du Tour is an immense sporting challenge. Having ridden the Tour de France route in 2015, I know exactly what Fred is up against and he will need to be well prepared for around 3,500 metres of climbing ahead of him.
Fred is taking part in a once in a lifetime experience, I’m sure there will be a huge amount of fun on the roads but more importantly, he is raising vital funds for a fantastic cause.
After being declared in remission in 2005 following my own personal battle with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia in 2003, I know how vital these funds are for others who are now battling the disease.
I urge you all to support Fred with his fundraising because every penny can help save lives.”
To donate to Fred’s fundraising page, visit:
To follow Fred on his Etape du Tour challenge, follow him on Twitter @MeadesFred
Cure Leukaemia's £1m Centre Appeal 2017