Chef Hayden Groves has raised more than £215,000 for blood cancer charity Cure Leukaemia after completing the full Tour de France circuit for the third time.
He was a member of the Tour 21 group of 18 amateur cyclists that completed all 21 stages of the 3,400km 2021 Tour de France route, one week ahead of the professionals. The team, led by former England footballer and blood cancer survivor Geoff Thomas, raised £1m in total for Cure Leukaemia.
Groves, who now works as a consultant chef after leaving his position as executive chef at foodservice catering company BaxterStorey last year, said that this year's event – involving extreme heat, battering wind and a number of crashes - was the most rewarding he had participated in since undertaking his first three-week long charity ride for the charity in 2015.
"As a proud Patron of Cure Leukaemia I saw my own individual lifetime total this tour surpass £215k," he said.
"As a lifelong cyclist I am no stranger to a tough day (or three) in the saddle, however, to witness close hand once again what some individuals put themselves through day in, day out for the challenge and fundraising was nothing short of remarkable."
In 2017 Groves, who was named National Chef of the Year in 2013, published a book entitled Back in the Saddle about his earlier fundraising cycling challenges. The book went on to win awards in the Sport Nutrition and Charity Fundraising categories of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2018.
All funds raised by the Tour 21 will be invested in a network of specialist research nurses at 12 blood cancer centres located in the UK's biggest cities and a hub at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital.