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6 friends on 1,200 mile cycling challenge

A group of 6 friends are taking on the challenge of a lifetime cycling from London to Rome.

One member of the group, Leigh Thistlethwaite is taking on the cycle in memory of his Mum Denise who was cared for in the hospice five years ago. This year would have been her 50th birthday. Leigh said:
"The staff at the hospice were brilliant. The atmosphere is so different to being in hospital. In the hospital it’s all so busy, but at the hospice it is relaxed and calming.”

The group set off at midnight tonight from London. Here's what they're taking on in their own words:

"Us 6 Lancashire Lads Matt Mason, Leigh Thistlethwaite, Iain Fay, Dan Day, Stuart Scott and Sol Whittaker are cycling 1200 miles in 7 days, from London to Rome. We are doing this to raise over £5000 for two local Lancashire charities. The charities are the North West Air Ambulance and the East Lancashire Hospice and both are massively important to local life and provide a service that can be lifesaving and life changing.

"The ride itself involves the 6 of us leaving from The Royal Marines Reserve base in London at 0001hrs Saturday 25th April 2015 and heading straight to Folkestone to catch the Channel Tunnel at 0800hrs. From Calais we will head straight across France aiming for the Swiss Alps whilst battling undulating terrain and sleep deprivation as we try and cycle over 160 miles a day. As we cross the Alps we will encounter over 10,000ft of climbing before dropping into Northern Italy and following the coast down to Rome. The cycle will see us sleeping outside with minimal kit, washing in rivers and pushing our bodies harder than they have been pushed before!"

Keep up to date with their progress by following their Facebook Group here: https://­www.­facebook.­com/­groups/­454­986­768­003­037/

To make a donation to the team, click here to go to their Virgin Money Giving page.

A very big good luck from everyone at the hospice!