Cycling in aid of Maggie's

CHALLENGE: Mr Hardcastle (top right) with the fundraising team.CHALLENGE: Mr Hardcastle (top right) with the fundraising team.
CHALLENGE: Mr Hardcastle (top right) with the fundraising team.
A Yorkshire dad will cycle nearly 1,300 miles in a triple challenge to raise cash to help build a specialist centre in Leeds for families affected by cancer after being inspired by his friend's experience.

Stephen Hardcastle, 55, will join his pal Robin Dow’s Ride4Cancer Team when they tackle the Tour de Yorkshire amateur race on April 30 and a coast-to-coast journey from Seascale to Whitby on June 24.

But from May 20, Mr Hardcastle, of Markington, will also pedal from John O’Groats to Land’s End – travelling 1,073 miles over 13 days with the help of friends Steve Bungay and Rob Lees.

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He is raising money for Maggie’s Yorkshire, a cancer charity which is aiming to have a new, welcoming space for affected families set up next to St James’s Hospital. Almost a year ago, the YEP launched its Million for Maggie’s campaign to raise funds for the £5m centre.

Mr Dow’s wife Harriet was diagnosed with incurable secondary breast cancer 13 years after she previously had the disease.

Technical support consultant Mr Hardcastle said: “I was so inspired by the situation Robin was in and how he’s turning adversity into something good.”

Family and friends of Mr Hardcastle have also had cancer, and he said: “It’s really, really important that there’s support for the family. Listening to Robin, and looking at what they do at the Maggie’s centres, it’s a really valuable cause.”

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Mr Hardcastle said that his wife Jacqui and children Georgia, 17, and Joshua, 14 had been very supportive.

To help Mr Hardcastle raise funds, visit

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