4 May 2020

An army officer is taking on a 1,943 kilometre cycling challenge – from his garage.

Originally from Bristol, Thomas Yaxley will be cycling the incredible distance over 21 stages from 9 to 31 May – inspired by the Giro D’Italia.

In addition to the distance, Tom will also be challenging himself with 23,027 metres of elevation.

His challenge is raising money for three charities: Above & Beyond, the Bristol city centre hospitals charity, Poole Hospital Charity and Hywel Dda Health Charities.

Tom is aiming to raise £2,100 - £100 per stage of the challenge.

He said: “As a serving soldier, I have been on the receiving end of the British public’s incredible support.

“Whilst deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan we would receive care packages full of food and other home comforts from complete strangers every week and I wanted to do my small part to repay that kindness and generosity.

“Over the years the Bristol Royal Infirmary has taken exceptional care of both of my brothers and my father when they were hospitalised.”

Tom has connections to the NHS. His wife, Lucy, is a nurse in the Queen Alexandra Royal Army Nursing Corps, and his mother-in-law Tracy Mills is a nurse in the community with Poole NHS.

He added: “I keep myself pretty fit with the day job, but I will have to ramp it up a bit over the next few weeks in the hope of it not hurting too much.

“I’m looking forward to feeling like I’m doing something that matters. As someone who is used to being able to see the enemy and do something about it, it will be nice to be doing something that can have a positive impact again.“One of the advantages of doing it stationary means I can have Netflix and Disney+ on the go as well – one of the more difficult things will be deciding what to watch!”

The money Tom raises for Above & Beyond will go to the Bristol City Centre Hospitals Appeal.

Sponsor Tom here