As a child in the Somerset village of Coleford, Tony used to watch cyclists travel through the village.

His mother bought him a ‘sit up and beg’ bike, but at the age of 15 he saved up to buy his own racing bike and joined Bath Cycling Club.

Tony 1950s raceHis cycling career took off in the mid 1950s when, at the age of 18, he won the first race he competed in. It was a time trial over 25 miles and his first taste of cycling competitively.

On National Service in 1955 he was picked to race for the British Army, coming first in a time trial championship in Germany and touring Spain by bike.  He went on to win competitions throughout Europe and in 1959 was picked to ride for England in the Milk Race, later the Tour of Britain – coming in 12 out of 84 riders and leading on some of the stages.

Tony married Mary and worked as an engineer for Herman Miller for many years, retiring as a production manager. But he continued to stay active, working part time driving elderly clients and people with disabilities to day clubs throughout Wiltshire. For much of this time he was older than his passengers.

He recalls: “What fun and laughs we had. When dropping someone off safely I can remember returning to the bus more often than not to a welcoming sing song of ‘why are we waiting’ from the other passengers!”

Tony finally retired at the age of 82. These days he spends more time gardening than cycling, but enjoys his state of the art Tour de France bike which allows him to cycle virtually through different stages of the race, complete with all the gradients and views. 

Diagnosed with dementia

He said: “Being diagnosed with dementia was a complete shock, and very frightening. I had heard so many stories regarding this terrible illness.  

"Knowing Alzheimer’s Support is there for me has made such a difference for me and for Mary, so I wanted to do another cycling challenge to raise much needed funds for them.

“Cycling has been a big part of my life and I’m hoping that other people who love it will take on their own challenge to support the charity.”

Tony's on Tour Challenge

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Tony racing vintage car in background