Cyclist Luke Milnes completed his challenge-of-a-lifetime this week, smashing his fundraising target and powering his way to a £4,000 triumph.
Luke, 30, of Broomhill, set out on his epic journey two months ago when he secured a late place on the Tour de Force – a charity cycling event which takes the entire 2,100-mile route of the Tour de France.
Anxious that he would not meet the £2,000 target, he also arranged a static bike ride and a fundraising dinner for his return.
The three-week expedition began at the end of June, a week ahead of the professionals including eventual victor Chris Froome.
“Completing 150-miles in a day, with as much as 12 hours in the saddle is the challenge most people relate to – but the reality is finding enough time to eat, sleep and recover, day after day, for three weeks,” says Luke.
On the other hand, he added, the stunning scenery, the camaraderie and the public support made it bearable.
Within days of arriving home last week, he was back in the saddle for a 24-hour static ride outside the Forum: a gruelling test of stamina in torrential rain.
And he completed his fundraising with a charity dinner and auction at Nonnas, Ecclesall Road, on Tuesday – bringing his final total to nearly £4,000 for the William Wates Memorial Trust.
Says Luke: “For now, it’s done. But I’m absolutely delighted with the result… watch this space!”