John Jones, a 68-year-old grandfather from Uxbridge is following in the tyre tracks of Lance Armstrong by taking on the Marmotte Cycling Challenge in July.
The race takes in a number of the mountain passes regularly seen in the Tour de France including the Alpe d'Huez, scene of one of Armstrong's most famous stage victories in 2001. The other thing John has in common with the Texan is that he too is a cancer survivor.
“For my 65th birthday I decided to take up cycling again, something I hadn’t done for nearly 40 years. I surprised myself by winning the first time trial I entered and haven’t looked back,” said John.
Taking part in La Marmotte is the realisation of a long-held dream for John and he is planning on making the most of it by raising money for The Royal Marsden Cancer Campaign.
John said: “Last year I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, a particularly daunting prospect, as my father died from this disease when he was just 71 years old.
“But I am confident that with the modern medical techniques I will win my fight against this cancer. I also feel I must do something to help others in the fight against this relentless disease and believe investing in The Royal Marsden is a great way to do that.”
The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust is a specialist cancer hospital and recognised world-leader in cancer diagnosis, treatment and research. The money raised for the Cancer Campaign goes directly into enhancing the leading-edge services the hospital provides.
John’s La Marmotte challenge will start off at Bourg d'Oisans and he will cycle more than 100 miles, ascending to more than 8,000 feet and tackling 21 hairpin bends, before finally reaching the finish line at the Alpe d’Huez ski station.
John has received some sponsorship from property developer St George Plc, but he’s keen to raise as much money as possible for The Royal Marsden, so any person or organisation interested in supporting him should visit his website www.johnjspage.blogspot.com