A father from Dorchester is taking on a mammoth challenge in aid of a children’s hospice.

Justin Hoffman is cycling the full Tour de France route on his own, consisting of 3,400 kilmetres and eight mountains.

Mr Hoffmann, from Fosse Green, said he chose Julia’s House as the charity after seeing the ‘fabulous’ work they do first-hand.

He said: “I’ve worked quite closely with them in the past and what they do is really incredible.

“What really struck a chord is when I found out how much money they have to find through fundraising to keep going. And their work is so important. I have a young daughter myself and if something happened to her I would just be beside myself.”

Mr Hoffmann has been training for the challenge solidly since March, and estimates he has cycled around 10,000km since then, including the equivalent of 20 ascents of Everest.

He added: “I think the most difficult part has actually been getting all the logistics together. It will take 23 days to do the whole route, which includes rest days, so it’s a case of having to sort out the route, hotel bookings and so on.

“With that and the training, it has really taken over my life.”

Mr Hoffmann will be supported by his friends, who will be meeting up with him at a number of intervals and carrying his food and luggage.

He is facing up to 10 hours each day in the saddle to complete the route within the time frame.

He said: “I am looking forward to the challenge. I used to play for Chickerell United FC so when I hung up my boots it was a case of looking around for something to do next.

“It will be great to come home afterwards, knowing I have done it and be able to spend some quality time with my daughter.”

Mr Hoffmann will be keeping a blog of his travels which can be viewed at www.ttcblog.thetourchallenge.co.uk To sponsor him, visit justgiving.com/Justin-Hoffmann