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Terminally ill Nick Stormonth turned down chemo to race in Italy and raise cancer funds

Awe inspiring feats of cycling grit and determination are usually the preserver of the professional cyclist, but every once in a while a non-pro achieves some feat that makes the rest of us stop in our tracks and take notice such.

Nick Stormonth, a solicitor with terminal cancer, forewent treatment to complete a 185-mile cycle ride to raise funds for other sufferers.
It wasn't just any 185-miler either; Nick, from Longniddry in East Lothian, rode the Gran Fondo Milan on Sunday. He has already raised over £6,000 for the charity he founded, nico35, to support people battling cancer or inflammatory bowel disease.

The Milan Sanremo cyclo sportive is an almost identical cycling event to the professional Spring Classic cycling race held in March and won by cyclists including Cavendish, Roche and Cancellara, and this year by Simon Gerrans.

Along with his friend and fellow cycling fanatic David Bayley, Nick came in in just under 11 hours, riding an impressive 10 hours, 58 minutes. The pair were were 583rd and 584th out 678 finishers.

Nick, 36, who now describes himself as 'a bit sore' from the ride, has inoperable peritoneal cancer which was diagnosed last November, and has had Crohn's disease since childhood.

Nick said : "When we saw the Meditteranean Sea after the Turchino Pass we knew we would make it. It was windy and the coast road was busy but there was no better feeling than coming down the Poggio and entering the final kilometre together - a very special moment.

"It was only when we returned back from San Remo to Milan in the car that the actual length of the ride really began to sink in.

"We were mad but we thoroughly enjoyed it and it was a dream come true for both of us to ride the actual race route where many of our cycling heroes have ridden and where so much cycling history has happened.

"I was a bit sore during the ride but I managed it and it really was a dream come true."

Chapeau, Nick!

To donate visit www.nico35.co.uk

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.