Hayden Groves, executive chef for BaxterStorey, will be taking part in a hugely ambitious sporting challenge later this year to raise a minimum of £1.3m for charity Cure Leukaemia.
In 2015, Groves rode alongside former England international and leukaemia survivor Geoff Thomas on the route of the Tour de France, one day ahead of the pros. This year, the pair, who are part of a group of six riders, have set themselves to challenge of riding the routes of all three of cycling’s grand tours – the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana. They hope to be joined by more riders on stages of the Tour de France.
Money raised through the Three Tours challenge will join a £2.45m grant to go towards building a new centre of excellence for blood cancers at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Birmingham.
Should they be successful, they will ride a total of 10,403km. Climbs they will have to negotiate will include the fearsome Passo dello Stelvio, the iconic Col du Galibier and Spain’s leg-breaking l’Angliru, thought by some to be the hardest in professional cycling.
Only 39 professional cyclists have ever completed all three grand tours.
As he geared up for his new challenge, Groves said: “So much has changed since 2015, we sadly lost my mother in law to cancer and I have seen at close quarters how this disease and derivatives effect not just the individual, but those close family members and friends. At 42 the usual aches and pains of training have even over two years amplified, but I know that in every pedal stroke me and my teammates are making a real difference to the cancer community.”