Datchworth resident sets off on Tour de France charity challenge

IT’S arguably the greatest trial of human endurance on Earth.

And today (Saturday), Datchworth resident Mark Pittaccio will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of cycling legends Lance Armstrong and Miguel Indurain as he kicks off his attempt to complete all 3,556km and 26 exacting mountain passes of the Tour de France.

The 46-year-old, who is the head coach of Datchworth Rugby Club, is starting his challenge two weeks before the world’s finest cyclists gather in Rotterdam for the first stage of ‘Le Tour’ on July 3.

A keen cyclist, Mark is riding in aid of the William Wates Memorial Trust, a charity which helps disadvantaged children through sports, arts and education projects.

The dad-of-two, from Datchworth Green, will be joined by rugby colleagues Simon Little, Darren Barsby and Henry Mountain for various stages of the ride.

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However Mark, better known as Pitsi, is the the only rider in the group – christened Rugby to Riding (R2R) – aiming to complete all 20 stages of the tour.

“The saddle can be a very exhilarating and a very testing place to be,” he said.

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“We have trained as much as we can, including rides in the South Downs and Wales, but nothing can really prepare us for the relentless nature of the tour and the sheer height of the climbs.

“All we can do is line up at the start determined to give it our best shot and let the adventure unfold.”

The R2R team is hoping to raise around �20,000.

For more information, including details of how to sponsor Mark, see link, right

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