A director from Quantum Pharmaceutical raised over £1,300 for a cancer charity after completing a gruelling cycle race.
 
Andrew Matthews, 38, finished the 60-mile Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Pennines having trained alongside Jonathan Edwards, who won triple jump Olympic gold at Sydney 2000 and Steven Burke, who won gold in the men's cycling team pursuit at London 2012.
 
Andrew, operations director at Quantum Pharmaceutical, said: "I excitedly accepted the opportunity and then spent days nervously contemplating how on earth I would keep up with two Olympic champions.
 
"It was great to get an insight into the sportsmen’s approach to training and they really helped me to understand different techniques that are required for a route like this. Steven was very kind to advise me on how to build strength and pace on climbs.
 
"The Etape route actually comes past my house on the return leg so riding this event took in many of the roads I ride on regularly. It’s a tough race with 2,366 metres of climbing, and to go training with these two Olympians and share their expertise was inspirational.
 
"They were very respectful of our level of riding and capabilities. We all stayed together for the first 25 miles and then stopped for a short break. After the stop the Olympic pair got down to some real training and left us in their wake."
 
Andrew exploits saw him raise funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care and he expressed his determination to continue raising money in the battle against cancer.
 
"I have been involved in the manufacture of oncology medicines for 15 years and have sadly lost relatives and friends to cancer," he said.
 
"As this disease continues to challenge the world's greatest scientists, it remains our mission to raise funds for charities such as Marie Curie.
 
"Many small contributions can make a massive difference. When a patient and their family need support it is so important to have specially trained and compassionate carers as the premature end of life for a loved one is not a moment we are ever prepared for."

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