Michelin-starred chef agrees to tackle 2015 Tour de France routes with former England footballer

Simon Gueller cycling in the Yorkshire Dales. Picture by Simon Wilkinson/ SWpix.com.
Simon Gueller cycling in the Yorkshire Dales. Picture by Simon Wilkinson/ SWpix.com.
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A Michelin-starred chef, who was told a suspected spinal tumour may rob him of his ability to walk and work, is set to take on a mammoth Tour de France challenge.

Simon Gueller, the award-winning executive chef at The Box Tree, in Ilkley, will join a team led by former England footballer Geoff Thomas in cycling the entire 3,300km combined routes of the 2015 Tour a day ahead of the pros.

Simon and Rena Gueller of the Box Tree in Ilkley. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

Simon and Rena Gueller of the Box Tree in Ilkley. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

The team is hoping to raise £1million for the Cure Leukaemia charity by cycling all 21 stages inspired by Thomas, who is a leukaemia survivor himself, from July 3 to 25.

Mr Gueller only took up the sport five years ago after recovering from the noncancerous growth on his spine, which led to surgery and rehab.

The 50-year-old, who was inspired to take up the challenge after reading Thomas’ book, said: “It’s surreal that I will be joining him to do the ride this year. I’m training really hard for the challenge, but thinking about the great work delivered by Cure Leukaemia, is great motivation.”

This year marks the 10th anniversary since Thomas completed the length of the 2005 Tour, despite having only gone into remission from leukaemia six months prior. He was given three months to live in 2003.

He said: “I’m delighted that Simon has committed to cycling ‘Le Tour – One Day Ahead’. It’s going to be a tough challenge.”

Visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/simongueller or www.beforethetour.com for details.

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