Holiday Extras’ Chief Operating Officer, Matthew Paxton, hit the mountains of France on 29 June and succeeded in completing five stages of the Tour de France as part of the charity event, Tour de Force.
Cycling a week ahead of the professionals, Matthew clocked up 462 miles over five days, climbing a total of 43,728 feet with 39.5 hours in the saddle and burning a total of almost 33,000 calories.
“Bernard Hinault who won the Tour de France five times once said that an amateur should think long and hard about attempting a stage of the tour; that two stages would necessitate a visit to the doctor; three a psychiatrist, and any more, a will! I am delighted that I managed to prove him wrong! This was a truly awesome experience. I will definitely be back to ride the whole 20 stages within the next few years,” said Matthew.
Matthew has raised more than £6,000 for three charities: William Wates Memorial Trust, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Demelza.
Notes to editors
Photo caption: Matthew Paxton, COO of Holiday Extras, stops for a break, Grand Colombier, France
Tour de Force offers amateur cyclists the opportunity to ride between one and eight stages, or the entire route, of the Tour de France one week before the professionals.
Cyclists pay for their accommodation, food and transfers (plus a small admin fee) and agree to raise a minimum sponsorship for the William Wates Memorial Trust.
The event organisers provide a fully signed route, luggage transfers, cyclist transfers (when the stages are not contiguous), medical and physio support, mechanical support, accommodation and all food and drink (including snacks and water along the route). They even drive cyclists’ bikes to and from France.