Tour de Force: fundraising for a Harrogate cyclist's dream

Lenny Hartley hopes to live out his dream of cycling across the Tour de France route.
Lenny Hartley hopes to live out his dream of cycling across the Tour de France route.
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A broken back and a £3,000 sponsorship target has not deterred one Harrogate man from pursuing his lifelong dream of cycling the route of the Tour de France.

Lenny Hartley is aiming to join around 100 other riders on Saturday 24th June for the Tour de Force, a three-week amateur race that follows the same route of the Tour de France, starting with the grand depart from Dusseldorf.

Lenny Hartley with his family after suffering a broken back

Lenny Hartley with his family after suffering a broken back

Growing up watching the annual race Mr Hartley was inspired to take the leap and begin training after seeing riders up close and personal during the Tour de Yorkshire.

However tragedy struck when he was hit by a car while training on a country lane in August last year, leaving him with a broken back and setting his preparations for the course back for months.

But now fully recovered he is appealing for help to meet his sponsorship goal which will be donated to the William Wates Memorial Trust, a charity which supports disadvantaged young people keep away from a life of crime.

His family are also hoping the chance to race will help him re-build his confidence and take part in other sports he used to enjoy without fearing he will be injured again.

His daughter, Maddie Hartley said: "This is his lifelong dream and it is an appeal to help raise funds for charity, but it is also something we want so much for him to be able to do.

"Some people have dreams of travelling the world or jumping out of an airplane, but this is his.

"Before the accidents he used to like things like snowboarding, going to places like Xscape in Castleford, but he has not wanted to do this since the accident.

"I think this would be a big step toward him getting back toward this."

Training everyday in preparation Mr Hartley will face a 2,186 miles challenge.

After setting up a Virginmoneygiving page he has already managed to raise close to £300.

To sponsor Mr Hartley you can visit virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=LennyHartley