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Man who rode Tour de France on a Raleigh Chopper to tackle Giro d'Italia on a fat bike

Dave Sims from Lancashire will be riding on and off-road in May when he takes on route of 100th edition of Italian Grand Tour

Dave Sims, who in 2015 rode the entire route of the Tour de France on a Raleigh Chopper, has set himself a new challenge this May – he’ll be cycling all 21 stages of the Giro d’Italia on a fat bike.

The 38-year-old from Southport, Lancashire has given the name The Italian Job 2017 to his latest fundraising drive for Help for Heroes.

He raised £12,000 for the charity in his Grand Tour escapade two years ago, which was featured in national newspapers and BBC Breakfast, and later that year he ‘Everested’ Alpe d’Huez for good measure.

> Man riding Tour route on Raleigh Chopper receives support from Chris Froome and Team Sky

This year’s 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia starts on Sardinia on Friday 5 May and finishes in Milan a little more than three weeks later.

Along the way, Sims will have to tackle climbs including Mount Etna on Sicily and the fearsome Passo dello Stelvio, designated this year’s Cima Coppi as the highest point in the race.

> Giro d'Italia 2017 route unveiled - the 100th edition (+ videos)

He won’t just be riding on asphalt, either – riding a bike equipped with four inch-wide tyres and designed by Clitheroe-based Beacon Bikes, he’s planning a bit of off-roading, too.

Dave Sims on his Italian Job 2017 fat bike.jpg

Sims is being sponsored by Bowker MINI which has dealerships in Preston and Blackburn. The company will be providing him with his principal support vehicle, and he was guest of honour at last weekend’s launch of the MINI Countryman at Preston’s Brockholes Nature Reserve.

He said: “It’s another challenge that is going to push me to the limit. The bike is even more striking than the Chopper. And it’ll need to be at its best for the wide variety of technical challenges I’ll face.

“I loved the event at Brockholes with Bowker MINI. I am very grateful for their support. I know I’ll need all the help I can get. It’s the toughest challenge of my life. I just hope I can repay the faith my sponsors and supporters have put in me!”

Amy Lancaster, group marketing manager at Bowker MINI, said: “Everyone knows about Dave’s incredible Tour de France challenge on a Chopper a couple of years ago. It was an immense effort. But his latest challenge is even tougher. He’ll need all the support he can get!

“We’re proud to be backing him. We wanted to work alongside someone who represented the Countryman’s spirit of adventure. And Dave was the perfect fit. We’re especially delighted Dave joined us for the launch of the new MINI Countryman.”

Sims has set himself a fundraising target of £10,000 and you can follow his challenge on Twitter and Facebook.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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