- By Alexandra Bassingham and Ali Vowles
- bbc news
Three friends are preparing to ride the entire route of the 2023 Tour de France to raise money for charity.
Ben Cannell, 34, Sean Belgium, 32, and Rory Mansfield, 35, from Bristol, will start biking on July 11, aiming to arrive in Paris on August 2.
They hope to match the time frame achieved by professional cyclists in the famous road race, which begins 10 days earlier on July 1.
They are supporting PROPS, which helps adults with learning disabilities.
Mr Cannell said his training will build strength and stamina, but it will also be about “getting your body used to being stuck in that position on the bike.”
“You have to do as much (prep) as you can. But we love it so it’s okay,” he said.
He said they are riding “as much as possible, whether it’s commuting or evening or weekend rides” in addition to their day jobs.
Mansfield calls the tour “the most challenging cycling event that happens every year.”
“This year the pro race is 3,404 km (2,115 miles) and there is 55,000 meters of vertical elevation (180,446 feet) on the route,” he said.
Unlike the official race, in which the riders are driven to the next stage of the race every day, the trio is completing the challenge without support, so they will also have to ride their bikes between stages.
It means they will be riding 200 km (124 miles) each day with nearly 3,000 m (9,842 ft) of climbing.
Konna Beeson of PROPS said it was “incredible” to have their support.
“We hope to build a much bigger cafe on Fishponds Road this year, which is where all the donations the boys are raising will go,” he said.
The men begin their journey on July 9 when they travel to Bilbao, Spain.