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Tour de Force!

21 July 2011

Charity fund-raising and the final leg of the Tour de France are firmly on the agenda for one Costain person.

Paul Clough, Construction Manager for Water Compliance Ultraviolet Disinfection Schemes, on behalf of Southern Water, and nine acquaintances are tackling a route from Chobham, Surrey to Paris… then cycling straight back again in a bid to raise a total of £10,000 for their collective charities. Paul’s chosen charity is Naomi House Children’s Hospice, near Winchester. The group of riders have timed the end of the first leg of their fundraising ride to coincide with the climax of the Tour de France. “If we get mixed up with the pros, they’ll soon overtake us!” comments Paul.

He discovered Naomi House when delivering a previous charity cheque to the Hampshire hospice and was struck by the incredible work they do for terminally ill youngsters and their families.

The round trip is due to take six days, with the team setting off this month (July) and aiming to average 60 to 80 miles a day. The first night will be spent in Newhaven before taking a ferry to Dieppe, then overnighting in Beauvais, halfway from the coast to Paris.

Sadly, the team will have little time to enjoy the City of Light, even its famous cuisine. “We’ll have a bit of a celebratory meal – really a case of getting as many carbohydrates into us as possible – then it’s back on the bikes early next morning for the return. We’re gluttons for punishment,” says Paul.

“I’m not an avid cyclist. I bought a racing bike from a friend a couple of years ago and sadly it has been sat in the shed for at least a year. Even today, work commitments mean I can really only train at the weekends, when I’m currently covering about 120 miles over the course of the weekend.

“We’re doing the cycle without any support vehicle, carrying spare tyres, tubes and all other essentials on our backs or somewhere on our bikes. If something goes wrong it’s a case of finding the nearest bike shop and speaking our best French to get it fixed!”

Anyone wanting to help Paul reach his individual target of £1,000 should go to: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Cloughy