Sportsman Franck Delorme embarks on a bike tour of Lozère to help hospitalized children

Sportsman Franck Delorme embarks on a bike tour of Lozère to help hospitalized children
Sportsman Franck Delorme embarks on a bike tour of Lozère to help hospitalized children

The 39-year-old Floracois sets out this Monday, June 17, 2024 on a course of 490 km and 10,000 m of elevation gain, which he hopes to complete in forty hours!

Touring Lozère by bike in forty hours is the challenge that Franck Delorme set himself. He will use his gravel bike, a bike designed for both road and trail riding. Normally, the route he takes is planned in eight days. His departure is scheduled for this Monday, June 17, 2024 at dawn. “I want to leave early in the morning to arrive late in the afternoon the next day”he explains.

The Floracois, sometimes considered “a little crazy” by those close to him, will use his madness wisely. He will cover the 490 km, 85% of which is path, and some 10,000 meters of elevation gain for the benefit of the Du Soleil en Pédiatrie association, which finances projects for children hospitalized in Mende. “The tour of Lozère for the noble cause”he exclaims.

For the association Du soleil en paediatrics

Charlotte Garcia, the president of the association, launched an online fundraiser open to all types of donors, individuals or companies. “Basically, it was a personal challenge but a work colleague told me about the association and I decided to associate him with my adventure to raise funds”, continues the native of Alès. This extraordinary sporting project indeed gives visibility to the cause. “I’m lucky enough to be able to play sport, it’s the school of life. There are values ​​of mutual aid, cohesion, and I think that it’s up to people who are in good shape to move for people in need.”

This fiber of mutual aid and dedication, the 39-year-old man has acquired over many years. Initially a professional firefighter for fifteen years in Savoie, he finally joined the Samu de la Lozère after returning to his town, Florac. In his free time, Franck Delorme enjoys his family and is active in local associations: climbing club, Telethon, Zinzin Ultratrail… without forgetting very regular cycling. “I have a completely normal lifestyle, I don’t pay particular attention to my diet and I’m a bon vivanthe smiles. Sport should remain a pleasure, not a constraint.” And he can count on Éva, his partner and Énéa and Émy, his daughters, to help him surpass himself.

“It’s a real journey”

This tour of the department will allow him to discover places that he has never explored, or very little. “It’s a real trip, I know the south of Lozère up to La Canourgue well, but not Aubrac at all.” After leaving Florac, it will reach Barre-des-Cévennes, then Mont Aigoual before reaching La Canourgue. In this town, Place Jeanne-d’Arc, around 6:15 p.m., he will be joined by members of the Cyclos du Malpas who will accompany him for a few kilometers to support him before nightfall. On this occasion, the La Canourgue bakery has installed a ballot box where people can make a donation for the Du Soleil en Pédiatrie association.

After these moments of sharing, Franck Delorme will leave in the direction of Nasbinals, Saint-Chély-d’Apcher then head east, to Langogne before going back down to Villefort. “Between Villefort and Mas de la Barque, there is the infernal climbhe smiles. I didn’t want to track her so as not to get demoralized. I’ll probably take a little nap at the bottom, before starting this climb.” In any case, this will be the last big effort before reaching Florac. “It’s the first time I’m going to do such a long distance”specifies the one who made a round trip in twenty hours to Mont Ventoux (410 km; 4,500 D +), as training three weeks ago, before his tour of Lozère.

Franck Delorme hopes to succeed in this challenge in complete autonomy. As a security measure, he can nevertheless count on his brother-in-law in case of problems. “He will be on callhe jokes. I gave him a spare tire and what I can’t take on my bike.”

He knows it, the second part of the course will be played out in his head. “The first half is physical; the second half is almost all mental.” And there is no doubt that if he is in difficulty, he will think of these hospitalized children who will give him the strength to go through with it.

To make an online donation, go to the leetchi fundraiser “Le tour de Lozère pour la noble cause”, open until September 30, 2024. A tax deduction is possible, you must contact the association Du sun in pediatrics.
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