One of the managing partners at Queensway Dental Clinic is taking to the road on his bike to raise money for charitable organisation, The Smile Train.
Dr Ian Lane, of Queensway Dental Clinic in Billingham, is just a month away from the challenge of his life, as he prepares for the Etape du Tour, the amateur stage of the Tour de France, where he hopes to raise £5,000 for the charity.
The Smile Train aims to ‘cure’ cleft lip and palates in developing countries. Every year, 165,000 babies are born with a cleft lip or palate, and the social, economic and sometimes life-threatening consequences can be dire for both the child and their mother.
More than 5,000 riders take part in this stage of the Tour de France on the 14 July over mountain roads in the Pyrenees.
The cyclists will be setting off from Pau in south west France to complete one of, if not possibly the hardest stages of the cycle race. The route will take the riders over the highest road passes on the Tour, including Col du Tourmelet and Col D’Aubisque. At the end of a full day cycling the participants will have climbed over 4000m and cycled nearly 200km.
Dr Lane explains his reasons behind supporting the charity and his feelings about the forthcoming race.
He said: ‘Before deciding on which charity to sponsor I carried out some extensive research, and The Smile Train seemed like such a worthwhile cause especially given the obvious links to our industry. Giving a child their smile back makes a huge difference to them and their family for the rest of their life.
‘With regards to the race, training is going well, and I’m cycling approximately 80 to 90 miles per session four times a week. I’m certainly starting to feel anxious about the race and the thought of racing over the four highest roads in the Pyrenees. But I feel very passionate about it and it will be the most amazing challenge I have ever completed.’