En route to a charity triumph

Duncan Barraclough
Duncan Barraclough

A Birstall man will tackle a 338-mile London-to-Paris bike ride over three days for a charity which helps young people get ahead in life.

Duncan Barraclough, 35, of Moat Hill Farm Drive, will pedal alongside 400 others from Hampton Court to the Eiffel Tower.

UK Youth drew Duncan’s name from their list for the challenge after he had taken part in charity cycle rides for Kirkwood Hospice in the past.

Duncan said he is inspired to raise cash for a charity which works to improve the lives of young people after his partner Carly Tordoff’s 15-year-old son Bradley was diagnosed with a grade four brain tumour.

Having raised nearly £2,000 of the required £3,500, he now needs a final burst of support to achieve the rest before the event kicks off on June 25.

“I’m expecting the end to be on of the best feelings I’ve ever had,” said Duncan.“It will be pretty emotional to be honest.

“And if I complete it this year it gives me a wild card to enter it next year,” he added.

A formidable route for any sportsman, Duncan is feeling ready even after a recentslipped back put the brakes on his run-up training, which has included 300-mile rides. “I’m pretty confident, training’s going well,” he said.

Warehouse manager Duncan is the only person in the country north of Birmingham to have been drawn by UK Youth.

He added that the rolling road closures in the centre of Paris on the final stretch are only otherwise experienced by riders in the Tour de France.

Sister Laura Sibbick, 22, said: “He is getting a lot of support from his family and friends and work colleagues.

“They’re all backing him and cheering him on!” she added.

UK Youth was established to help young people learn essential life skills. It aims to value and accredit achievements of youngsters outside the classroom.

It works with organisations and other charities to reach young people and provide them with varied and accessible opportunities to learn, enabling them to develop their skills and gain confidence.

Duncan will set off on day one from Hampton Court, pedalling to Folkestone, where he will shuttle across to Calais.

On day two, the riders will race from Calais to Amiens. On the final day, Duncan will shoot into central Paris, skirting landmarks like the Arc de Triomphe and ending up at the world famous Eiffel Tower.

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/duncan-barraclough