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Weymouth cyclist turns professional at the age of 35
A WEYMOUTH man who took up cycling after his wife told him he was getting fat has turned professional at the age of 35.
Martin Cox is gearing up for what is dubbed ‘the toughest bike race in the world’.
He aims to tackle the brutal 3,000-mile Race Across America by cycling the coast-to-coast route in just 10 days, with only 10 hours of sleep.
Riders have to climb both the Rockies and Appala-chian mountains, and endure temperatures ranging from freezing to plus-45 degrees.
The solo Race Across America, starting June 5, 2013, is the next great challenge facing British cycling – after the Tour de France and Olympic triumphs of 2012.
In its 30-year history only four Britons have ever completed it.
Mr Cox, who went to Weymouth’s Holy Trinity School, Budmouth College and Weymouth College and lived in Owermoigne for more than 25 years before moving to Notting-ham, aims to be the fifth.
And in 2014 he intends to become the first British rider to win the race.
The father-of-three has set aside his career in telecoms so that he can prepare full time for this feat and he is now seeking commercial sponsorship to help him do so.
His months of gruelling training will involve up to 100 hours of cycling a week, rides across England and abroad, and burning an incredible 10,000 calories a day.
It’s a dramatic change of lifestyle for Mr Cox, who has three sons – Christopher, six, Oliver, four, and Harry, two.
He said: “Last year my wife Anda told me I was getting fat. I immediately went for a run, injured myself within a week and was told by my physiotherapist to take up cycling.
“Just eight months later I rode from Land’s End to John O’G-roats and back again in under 10 days, and it was clear that I had a good engine for long distances.
“I’m tackling the Race Across America because I’m passionate about overcoming my limits.
“Afterwards I hope to give motivational talks in schools and businesses.”
He added: “When I went to Budmouth school I used to cycle there from Owermoigne every day, which was fairly unusual as a 14-year-old.
“I gave cycling up when I started having knee pains and a doctor said I could never cycle again without pain.That’s proved to be wrong.”
Mr Cox will be using the race to fundraise for children’s charities. They are The Lord’s Taverners, which aims to increase the involvement of disadvantaged and disabled young people in sport, and also The Bradley Wiggins Found-ation, which promotes participation in sport and support youngsters to fulfil their potential.
To contact Mr Cox about sponsorship please visit themartincox.co.uk/, follow him on Twitter @themartincox