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The 54-year-old managing director will cycle a gruelling 344 kilometres up hill and down dale from Southport in the West to Hornsea in the East with the aim of raising money for a local hospital and cancer research.

“I’m sure many will simply accuse me of suffering a mid-life crisis,” said Hope, “but the cause is close to my heart. A little over two years ago, my wife Karon was diagnosed with breast cancer, which has inevitably had a dramatic effect on our family.

“I decided I would like to do my bit for others affected by the disease and the money raised from the ride will be split between Clatterbridge Hospital (who have done so much for my wife) and Cancer Research.”

Mr Hope, who freely admits that he has ridden no further than his local pub in the last 30 years, will be accompanied by six fellow cyclists.

He has purchased a Claud Butler machine from Lymm Bikes and, as a result, Claud Butler is helping with sponsorship.

The marathon ride will take place from July 1-4. Anybody wishing to support the venture is asked to send donations to: Simon Hope, c/o H&H Classic Auctions, Whitegate Farm, Hatton, Cheshire WA4 4BZ. Tel: 01925 730630.