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Michael’s epic cycle pays tribute to inspiring friend

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Michael’s epic cycle pays tribute to inspiring friend

AN EPIC 112-mile cycle challenge has been completed by an Ecclefechan man in memory of his late friend.

Michael Warbeck, 42, climbed 10,752 foot as part of the Lake District-based cyclosportive Fred Whitton Challenge with his two friends Craig Donagher and Dave Pritchard.

He raised £4021 for Macmillan Cancer in honour of his close friend Alan Lamont, an Eaglesfield man and owner of Lamont Heating Services who passed away last August.

Michael, a married fatherof-two, said: “The Fred Whitton is regarded as one of the five toughest sportives in the world.

“We were on the bikes for seven hours and 51 minutes which includes 10,752 feet of climbing.”

The train driver’s first experience of the challenge was as a supporter for his friend Alan.

He said: “We argued at the end as I wanted to drive him home after it. He said he was fine — top man.

“Alan was the reason I got into cycling. He was like a mentor to me full of information and knowledge with words of support and wisdom like ‘ride the first bit flat out then ride the second half harder’.”

Even after 45-year-old Alan’s cancer diagnosis he still made the journey to the Lake District to support Michael when he took part in last year’s Fred Whitton Challenge.

Michael said: “The plan was for us all to do the Fred in 2016 when Alan would be well. Unfortunately this wasn’t to be as Alan sadly died on August 16 2015.

“So, as tough as it was the last time I did the Fred, I decided to take on the Fred again this year in memory of Alan and raised a whopping £4021 for Macmillan.”

He added: “Alan was there in spirit, guiding us along. “And at the finish we were greeted by Alan’s wife Louise and their three sons Baillie, Rowan and Finn.

“It was an emotional time for all at the end but also a privilege to have Alan as a friend and to do this in his memory.”

Michael is keen to thank all those who helped him in his bid.

He said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their words of encouragement and support and of course for donating to such a worthy cause.

“And finally a big thanks also to John McLintock and his team at G&G Cycles.

“John was also a good friend of Alan’s and an integral part in my training and preparation for the Fred Whitton challenge.”

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26th Feb

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