COMPANY boss Matthew Townsend is taking on a huge cycling challenge to help raise £1 million for a charity which helped save former England footballer Geoff Thomas’s life.

Matthew, 46, from Holmes Chapel, is the CEO of Knutsford-based Ultimate Creative Communications, and has been chosen to take part in the GT15 Tour de France in June and July 2020.

The race takes in the 21 gruelling stages and 3,500 kilometres of the official Tour de France route, and is completed 24 hours before the professionals.

Matthew and the other 20 riders have been selected from hundreds of applicants to take on perhaps the most famous and challenging cycle race in the world in aid of raising £1 million for Cure Leukaemia.

The ‘GT’ of GT15 is the team’s leader Geoff Thomas, the ex-England, Crystal Palace and Wolves footballer, who was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia in 2003.

Given just months to live at diagnosis, Geoff ultimately recovered, and 15 years ago was declared in remission from the disease.

Cure Leukaemia is the charity which helped save Geoff’s life: the charity focuses on pioneering life-saving drug and transplant treatments (including clinical trials) to blood cancer patients, which are spread throughout the north west (amongst other places).

Knutsford Guardian:

Matthew said: "There’s no bigger physical challenge on earth than cycling every stage of the Tour de France, but it pales into insignificance when put beside the challenges faced by individuals and families following a diagnosis of cancer.

“Leukaemia treatment has made huge strides forward in recent years.

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“I’m joining the GT15 team in taking on this challenge for the number one reason of raising £1 million to fund the critical final stages of research needed to make blood cancer curable."

If you wish to follow Matthew’s progress throughout this journey, follow Cure Leukaemia, Geoff Thomas, Matt himself and Ultimate Creative Communications on social media.

Matthew has set himself a target of raising £30,000, and anyone wishing to support him can do so at