Former Sheffield classmates replicate gruelling Tour de France route in the name of charity

Members of Tour de Will.
Members of Tour de Will.
0
Have your say

More than 4,000km in just 24 days - that is quite some ask even for the most committed professional cyclists, let alone a group of former classmates from Sheffield.

But that is exactly what Will Jackson-Moore and his friends are in the middle of as they replicate the entire 1968 Tour de France, which was the longest race in its history and also saw riders climb a total of more than 56,000m.

The Tour de Will riders.

The Tour de Will riders.

The Tour de Will group, which includes Will, Roger Weller, Ashley Middleton and Scott Burgess, began their journey on August 1 and have already clocked up a total of more than 13,500 km between them.

Scott said: "We are trying to reproduce the 1968 as faithfully as possibly, day-by-day, turn-by-turn, mile-by-mile, climb-by-climb but 50 years later.

"We started on August 1 and managed around 900 miles in the first seven days. In preparation we spent hours pouring over the old archives trying to map the exact original route and are trying to use any available original start and finish locations, including some very famous velodromes."

The group, who are former pupils of Ecclesfield and High Green schools, are being joined by a support crew of around 15 riders who will join them along the route through France and have already passed their target of raising more than £70,000 for Cancer Research and Harrison's Fund For Muscular Dystrophy.

Some of the 1968 Tour de France route which the riders will take.

Some of the 1968 Tour de France route which the riders will take.

Scott added: "We have been very lucky to get permission from the Parisian police to let us finish the very last stage cycling through Paris with a small support crew to finish in the Velodrome Jacques Anquetil where 1969 Tour finished.

"We were also very happy to get the blessing of Barry Hobarn, who was the first Brit to win a Tour de France stage back in 1968 and still holds the second most stage wins after Mark Cavendish."

The route saw the group begin in Vittel, in the East of France before making their way around the French borders, before finishing in the capital.

Scott said: "A longer tour has not been ridden since ’68 and some of the ‘double stage’ days which are over 320km have subsequently been abandoned as a bad idea. Unfortunately, we will have to attempt to ride every single mile and are currently doing so in a record breaking heat wave.

"We have been told that without a peloton even the professionals would not attempt such a ride. The whole team have been training as much as they can considering they all have day jobs.

"There have been lots of 4.30am starts to get some miles in before work and long weekend training days away from families. So far the ride has gone better than we could have hoped considering having to cycle in some record temperatures for 12 hours at a stretch on open and busy roads."

Scott said Will had chosen the charities after his mum died after a battle with cancer and another of his relatives suffered with muscular dystrophy.

Visit www.tourdewill.com for more information or to sponsor the group.