Italian job is a tribute to dad as cyclist sets off on fundraising bike ride

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Stuart Ponsonby from Ackworth is attempting a challenging four day bike ride from Rome to Venice to raise money for charity in honour of his late father who passed away from cancer.

Over 385 miles lie between Mr Ponsonby and his goal as he set off yesterday in an attempt to raise £2,000 for the Macmillan Trust.

His father, Arthur, passed away on March, 18 this year after battling cancer for six months and Mr Ponsonby is determined to raise awareness and support for the trust.

He said: “This is a tribute to my dad as well as to give my thanks for the work of the Macmillan nurses for their patients.

“I have met a lot of people suffering from cancer, so many people know someone who has cancer.

“Some people beat it and some people don’t.

“I feel like that although I could not do anything for my dad I can do something now.”

The goal of £2,000 is well on its way to completion, his Justgiving page donations standing at £1,400.

In one night alone he managed to raise £320 at his local Co-op in Ackworth.

Now he is aiming higher, setting himself an ambitious goal of £2,500.

Training for the event has been intensive, with Mr Ponsonby riding 60 miles during the week and 100 at the weekend.

However as he flew out to Italy this week he admitted there were some nerves about his personal ‘Italian job’ cycle challenge

“But I am confident in my fitness,” added Mr Ponsonby.

“As a keen cyclist myself this is a great challenge and opportunity for me to do something I can look back on with great pride.

“It’s something I can tell my son about and show him the various places I have visited along the way.”

Mr Ponsonby can still receive donations at justgiving.com/stuart-ponsonby.