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Kentish Town TV star Hannah White conquers Tour de France climb for charity

Hannah White during the race. Hannah White during the race.

Monday, July 28, 2014
2:29 PM

A Kentish Town sailor and TV personality has conquered one of the most gruelling mountain stages of the Tour de France cycling race in aid of a charity supporting young people with disabilities.

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Hannah White overcame a 92-mile uphill climb from Pau to Hautacam in the French Pyrenean mountain range on her bike earlier this month to raise money for charity Action For Kids.

The 30-year-old, a former professional transatlantic sailor and founder of Channel 5 show Go Hard or Go Home, took part in the annual L’Etape du Tour race on July 20, completing the challenge in 10 hours 13 minutes.

She said: “I’m so glad we finished and were able to raise some money for such a worthy cause. Knowing that the young people Action For Kids supports were following us and willing us on, kept us going!

“The L’Etape du Tour is renowned for being one of the toughest amateur cycling sportives, but it totally surpassed my expectations. It was a true test of mental determination as well as being hugely physically demanding.

“The conditions were as bad as they get. Temperatures were near to freezing and the rain was relentless. There were many times I thought we would have to abandon, like many others.

“The time we took to try to raise our body temperatures after the descent of Tourmalet put us under increasing pressure to reach the finish before the cut- off point.”

L’Etape du Tour, the 18th stage of the Tour de France, is open to amateur cyclists keen to emulate the professionals by reaching the Tourmalet, the highest road in the central Pyrenees.

Riders in this year’s Tour de France followed in Hannah’s tracks on Thursday last week when they reached the 18th stage of the race before crossing the race finish line yesterday.

Action For Kids chief executive Graham Duncan said: “The grit, guts and determination taken to complete this challenge leaves me speechless. The fact that Hannah undertook this on behalf of our young people makes it all the more amazing.

“I hope this demonstration of commitment to what we do for young disabled people and the money raised will help us make even more positive changes in their lives.”

If you wish to donate to Hannah’s fundraising efforts, visit justgiving.com/hannahWhite2014, or text “VELO96” to 70070 followed by the amount you want to donate.

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