A cyclist from a Saltney-based self-storage company is to tackle a gruelling 186-mile overnight cycle race in Sweden this summer to raise money for a hospice charity.
Nick Powell, director of Lock Stock, in River Lane, Saltney, will take on the Vatternrundan – 300 kilometres around the shores of Lake Vattern – in June.
It’s a cause that’s particularly close to Nick’s heart because his elder brother, Simon lost a long battle with cancer at the age of 57 and his mother, Jean, has also had the disease.
He will be raising money for St Kentigern’s Hospice, in St Asaph.
Nick said: “St Kentigern’s is a charity that we at Lock Stock have huge support for.
“It is particularly important to us as our family have experienced some hard times due to cancer.
“Our mum survived a battle with cancer but unfortunately our brother, Simon, didn’t. After a long 10-year battle with cancer he died at the age of 57 so we really appreciate the good work being done at St Kentigern’s and any sponsors would be greatly appreciated.”
Talking about the challenge he said: “It’s very popular and it’s very well organised. They send you out in groups of 10 to 15 with special electronic markers on your helmet to record your time.
“There are feed stations along the way and you cycle through the night though at that time of the year so far north that means about two to three hours of semi-darkness.
“I did it last year in about 12 hours and it would be good to beat that time and raise some money for St Kentigern’s.
“It’s tough and the best riders can do it in about eight hours but it’s enjoyable too. The scenery is wonderful and the lake is very picturesque and there’s an amazing atmosphere among the riders.”
Nick is often accompanied on his training rides in Chester by colleague operations manager Stuart Bowker, who plans to ride in Chester’s Ride Above Sportive with Mark Cavendish this year.The company is planning to sponsor local cyclists, supporting them with equipment, entry fees and charity donations and they are keen to hear from cyclists in North Wales and the Borders at email@example.com.
Nick added: “Cycling is so popular now and British cycling has had such a boost from the exploits of Sir Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas and I’m sure there is plenty of young talent in our area.
“We’d be keen to hear from them and help them and perhaps we could help groom a future Tour De France champion here – we’ve got the mountains for it.”
To support Nick click here .