Record-breaking cancer survivor gears up for next cycling challenge - The Rugby Observer

Record-breaking cancer survivor gears up for next cycling challenge

Rugby Editorial 18th Aug, 2018   0

A RECORD-breaking Rugby cyclist who has beaten cancer twice is gearing up for his next arduous fundraising challenge to raise £50,000 for promising British riders.

James Golding will pedal the daunting 1,136km route of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain in eight days – from Pembrey Country Park in Wales all the way to London, calling in to his home county along the way.

Since narrowly surviving cancer surgery in 2009, the 36 year-old has not only learned to walk again, but has cycled the 2,700 distance between Los Angeles and Miami in 24 days.

And a road accident and a second cancer diagnosis did not deter the cyclist – who began inspiring others with his brave story after he was given the all-clear in 2012.

He is now an ambassador of Cancer Research UK and has since raised over £3million for cancer charities.

And last year he broke the world endurance cycling record last year after cycling 1,766 miles in seven days.

By his side for his latest challenge will be Phil Jones – managing director of technology giant Brother UK. The pair will complete each stage of the tour one day prior to the professionals getting into the saddle.

All funds raised will go to the Dave Rayner Fund – a voluntary organisation supporting young British riders racing abroad.

“Phil’s one of those outright genuine guys,” said James. “I’ve known him for a number of years, and he’s guided me through a lot of situations to do with business and reaching my goals. In that time he’s become a great friend.

“The ride and the £50k target was his idea, I wanted to do anything I could to help out. Both he and his company turn 50 this year, so it’s a nice number to aim for.

“Supporting young people with goals and dreams is something I want to do more of.”

Stage 4 of the race comes through Warwickshire on September 5, beginning in Nuneaton and ending in Royal Leamington Spa – calling into all five districts and boroughs along the way.

In anticipation, James has already ridden most of the local route. “It’s nice to be on home roads,” he said, “but I try not to think too much about the route so I can focus on the ride itself.

“We’ve got a lot of ground to cover between each stage, all this travelling and transferring could prove difficult, especially as its when your body is trying to wind down. I think that’s going to be the biggest challenge.”

Earlier this year, James was named Fundraiser of the Year at the Pride of Birmingham Awards.

He said: “It’s a nice validation because the outreach of a lot of my work is unquantifiable. You never know how many people you’re helping.

“These kinds of awards always have a certain warmth, but the biggest thing is being able to ride my bike. It’s got me through a very difficult situation. That’s up there with the wife and kids.

“I’m very fortunate, I don’t win scratch cards, but I’ve beaten cancer twice and our second child was born this year.

“She’s amazing, having kids is another thing I was told would never happen but we’ve hit the jackpot with her.”

As well as getting prepared for his OVO charity ride, he is looking ahead to the 2020 Race Across America.

“I don’t want to just turn up and finish the race, I want to win it,” he added. “For now I’ve just got to keep ticking over, build the distance up, and get faster over short distances.

“At the same time as preparing for this, we’re also working on a School Engagement Programme. I want to go into 50 schools a year and talk to 14 to 20 year-olds about following their dreams.

“The challenge is pulling this all together; the training has almost become secondary because of the size of the project we want to undertake.”

James and Phil will hit the road for the first stage of their tour on September 1, with the 2018 OVO Energy Tour of Britain getting underway the following day.

Visit to donate.


Receive a weekly update to your inbox by signing up to our weekly newsletter.


Advertise with the Rugby Observer to reach your audience


Weddings, Birthdays, Bereavements, Thank you notices, Marriages and more.


Find a career you'll love with our free career finder website.