Teen bros’ 900 mile charity ride in memory of late uncle

Sidmouth College siblings Sam and Ollie to take on challenge cancer victim Malcolm had always wanted to

TEENAGE brothers gifted a bike by their terminally ill great uncle before he died will take on the 900 mile ride he’d always dreamed of completing.

Sidmouth siblings Sam and Ollie Turner could be the youngest ever to cycle the length of Britain for charity.

They aim to finish a mammoth mission from John O’ Groats to Land’s End in just 11 days in memory of cancer victim Malcolm Turner - and to boost the spirits of a pal who is currently seriously ill with the devastating disease.

Bravery shown by Malcolm and family friend John Massen has inspired the boys to get on their bikes.

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Sam, 15, and Ollie,13, hope to raise �26,000 for a trio of worthy causes.

“It’s going to rank 10 out of 10 in terms of hardness –but we’re motivated by these two special people,” said the siblings.

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Terminally ill cycling ace Malcolm, 67, handed Ollie his cherished bike – and gave the boys’ plans his blessing - before losing his fight against cancer in November. He had always wanted to ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

John, 42, is currently battling cancer. He is playing an active role in planning the challenge despite being seriously ill.

Sam, 15, and Ollie, 13, hope to pedal their way to �26,000 to be shared between Sidmouth Hospiscare, Cancer Research UK and Hospiscare Devon.

The cash is the typical annual salary of a hospice nurse.

“Malcolm’s bike was a going away present that had a big impact on our decision to do this,” said Ollie.

“When John got cancer we thought we had to do something for these two great people.”

Sam added: “We were really close to Uncle Malcolm. We know he’d be proud of us. He gave us lots of tips before he died. We’re going to have to put in a lot of hard work to get to the standard needed. We’ve been overwhelmed by the support so far.”

The boys’ Brothers on Bikes Facebook page has attracted nearly 1,000 followers from across the globe – including celebrities - in just three weeks.

Sam took up road biking a year ago and Ollie started in the summer.

The brothers will clock up an average of 80-miles-a-day on the ride and have been training under a military-style regime led by Newton Poppleford Royal Marine Mike Cooper, who has completed the challenge five times before.

The boys will be joined on the ride by cousin Christopher Williams, 16, dad Andy Turner, 42, and Geoff Hadley - one of Malcom’s best friends. Family members will also form a support crew.

Andy said: “Malcolm always wanted to do this but never got the chance.

“Sam and Ollie won’t be the youngest to do it – but they could be the youngest siblings.”

The group needs to raise around �5,000 in sponsorship to pay for accommodation and kit for riders during the challenge.

If you can help contact the Herald on 01392 888501 or e-mail stefan.gordon@archant.co.uk.

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