A BOSS of a dental firm is getting on his bike to raise vital cash for children in developing countries.
Dr Ian Lane, a managing partner at the Queensway Dental Clinic, in Billingham, is just weeks away from the challenge of his life, as he prepares for the Etape du Tour, the amateur stage of the Tour de France, where he hopes to raise £5,000 for the charity The Smile Train.
The charity aims to “cure” cleft lip and palates in developing countries.
Every year 165,000 babies are born with a cleft lip or palate, and the social, economic and sometimes life-threatening consequences can be dire for both the child and their mother.
Dr Lane, 28, said: “Before deciding on which charity to sponsor I carried out some extensive research, and The Smile Train seemed like such a worthwhile cause especially given the obvious links to our industry.
“Giving a child their smile back makes a huge difference to them and their family for the rest of their life.”
More than 5,000 riders take part in this stage of the Tour de France, on July 14, over mountain roads in the Pyrenees.
The cyclists will be setting off from Pau, in south west France, to complete one of possibly the hardest stages of the cycle race.
The route will take the riders over the highest road passes on the Tour, including Col du Tourmelet and Col D’Aubisque.
At the end of a full day cycling the participants will have climbed more than 1,200ft and cycled nearly 200km.
Dr Lane, who is married with two young children and lives in Norton, said: “Training is going well, and I’m cycling approximately 80 to 90 miles per session four times a week.
“I’m certainly starting to feel anxious about the race and the thought of racing over the four highest roads in the Pyrenees.
“But I feel very passionate about it and it will be the most amazing challenge I have ever completed.”
Dr Lane’s previous charity pursuits include spending months in Malawi working at a children’s clinic, taking part in the Great North Run and raising money for Cancer Research and the Stroke Association.
He has completed half-marathons and mountain challenges, as well as completing the Coast to Coast last year.
To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/queensway-ian.