AN intrepid cyclist who is a former captain of Linby Colliery Welfare Football Club has emulated the great Bradley Wiggins by completing a Tour de France of his own!
Pete Campbell (34), of Watnall, covered more than 300 gruelling miles in a four-day charity ride from London to Paris.
And he arrived at his finishing point, the iconic Eiffel Tower, the day before Wiggins made history as the first Brit to win the gruelling Tour.
An accounts director at his family business of Long Eaton upholstery firm PF Collections, Pete quit football just a year ago and decided to get back on his bike.
He chose Christian Aid as the charity he would support to raise much-needed funds for its fight against poverty. He has voiced a big thank you to all who helped reach a current total of just over £2,385.
Pete rode with two other cyclists, Rob Green and Mike Heath, and he described the achievement as ‘one of the best things I have ever done’.
He added: “We cycled through some beautiful places, saw some amazing sights and met some great people I can now say will be friends for life. Can I go and do it again?”
After months of training and fundraising efforts, the trio set off from Selsdon in Surrey and faced a long wait in a wet and windy Dover before the short ferry ride over to Calais.
They passed through the city of Arras, the scene of heavy battles in both the First and Second World Wars.
Pete said day three would stick in his memory the longest because it covered the Somme region, where so many battles were fought and lives lost in the Second World War. He said: “The Allied and German cemeteries told stories of war we are yet to learn from. It was a very moving experience to see this.”
Pete’s group arrived at Compiegne just in time to witness the ‘Manx Missile’, Mark Cavendish, win stage 20 of the Tour de France.
On arrival in Paris, the group re-assembled at the bottom of the Champs Elysees before riding in convoy to the Arc de Triomphe. At the end of the ride, Pete was met with a big hug from his wife, Claire (32) and six-year-old son, Luke.
Pete’s final stats for the ride read 311.3 miles, 19 hours, 16 minutes and 32 seconds ride time, 12,910 ft of elevation with an average of 16.2 mph. He is now planning a Land’s End to John O’Groats ride.
n OUR PHOTO shows Pete celebrating in front of the Eiffel Tower.