Newbury man to cycle Tour de France stage for Prostate Cancer UK
A Newbury man is preparing to cycle the first road stage of the Tour de France to raise money for prostate cancer research, writes Lars Mucklejohn.
Robert Coster is set to take part in the Grand Départ Classic this Friday - a self-funded 183km (114-mile) charity ride organised by Prostate Cancer UK that follows the first road stage of the race, the day before the professionals.
This year’s Tour de France will start with a time trial on Friday (July 1) in Denmark and finish on July 24 in Paris.
Mr Coster's event will start at 7am in the city of Roskilde, 40km west of Copenhagen, and finish at the Great Belt Fixed Link bridge in the town of Korsør.
Mr Coster, who grew up in Australia and works for the NHS developing clinical policy, told newburytoday that he became a keen cyclist during the first Covid-19 lockdown.
He said he was excited “to do something I enjoy and be part of a big sporting event”.
He was set to take part in the event last year before it was cancelled due to the pandemic and has been training for several months, recently cycling 134km (83 miles) in the Scottish Highlands.
His father-in-law, Robin, died after a long battle with prostate cancer six years ago, and other family members have also experienced the disease.
Mr Coster said: “One in eight men will get prostate cancer. If you’re over 50, or your dad or brother had it, or you’re black, you’re at even higher risk. It’s something that impacts a significant percentage of our friends and family. So I am taking the opportunity to take part in something I love and raise money to fight something that has directly impacted my family and friends.”
Those wishing to support his fundraiser can do so at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rob-coster3
As well as gathering contributions through JustGiving, Mr Coster’s local pub, The Lamb Inn, has helped him raise money.
He was presented with a cheque for £1,125 at the pub last Friday.