Cyclist gears up for Alps run

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A former champion cyclist is taking on a gruelling route in this year’s Tour de France to raise funds in memory of his coach.

Nicci Flynn,from Bishopbriggs, who is a previous Scottish under-21 road race champion, will participate in stage 19 of the race in July.

It is a challenging 88-mile mountainous route in the Rhône-Alpes region, between the towns of St Jean De Maurinne and 
La Toussuire.

The 33-year-old hopes to raise £3,000 for the Marie Curie Hospice at Huntershill, where his coach James Dorward spent his last days before passing away from cancer a few years ago, aged 87.

James, who lived at Gleneagles Gardens, in Bishopbriggs, for a large part of his life, was founder of the Scotia Cycling Club in the town and put many talented young riders on the path to success.

Nicci, who quit riding professionally in 2002, said: “Jimmy dedicated his life to helping young British cyclists achieve what they wanted in the sport.

“He was one of my main influences. I called him my Frampa - my pretend grandpa.

“Unfortunately, after a short battle with cancer, he passed away at the grand old age of 87. However, before he was diagnosed with the disease, he was living the life of a man 30 years his junior, so it was a shock to see how quickly the cancer took hold of him.

“Jimmy was fortunate to spend his last few weeks at the Marie Curie Hospice at Huntershill, where he was cared for with love and dignity.

“He was given the best quality of life and he and his family were able to make the most of the precious time they had together.

“Not everyone gets this care and I am appealing to people to sponsor me to help this fantastic charity do their fantastic work, dedicated to caring for people with a terminal illness.”

He added: “I haven’t been cycling professionally for quite a while now - so the aim is just to finish!

“The route takes me into the Alps with part of it involving an 18-mile steep climb in the mountains. I think it will be pretty brutal.”

You can donate to Nicci’s cycling challenge at https://www.justgiving.com/Nicolas-Flynn/