Businessman poised for gruelling South Africa cycling challenge

Carl Pearson.
Carl Pearson.

A Gomersal man is heading to South Africa to take on one of the world's toughest cycling events in aid of charity.

Carl Pearson will compete in the Cape Epic event which takes place over eight days through the Western Cape region.

Carl Pearson.

Carl Pearson.

Carl, who runs Birstall company CCL Services Ltd, has been a keen mountain biker for some years.

But he admits that this event, which begins on March 18, will be the most gruelling he has ever taken on.

"It's Cape Epic and it's renowned as the hardest mountain bike race going," said the 55-year-old.

"It's over eight days and there's 1,000 amateurs as well as many professionals taking part."

Carl Pearson.

Carl Pearson.

Carl is taking on the event along with friend James Keirstead from Canada as the event requires participants to pair up.

The pair's team is called 'UKCan Do It' and Carl is raising money for Leeds-based charity Candlelighters, which provides support to families facing children's cancer in Yorkshire.

He admits the unpredictable weather could be a major hurdle during the eight-day sojourn.

He said: "My wife is a charitable person and although I've raced many times before, this is the first time I've done it for charity.

"This is possibly the last big race I will do.

"It's an extreme race in extreme weather.

"It goes from sun to snow to rain to sleet and back to sun.

"It could be extreme heat and it's going to be eight long days of pain and suffering."

Carl has wanted to compete in the event for a long time and finally won a place this year after being drawn out of a lottery.

And he says he is looking forward to finally getting in the saddle.

He added: "I've wanted to do it for ten years.

"I've always been a mountain biker and I've always fancied a challenge.

"We will be out there in the wilderness and so I stepped up my training in September.

"But, because of the weather it's been hard to train outside.

"So I've been training indoors instead.

"I've been training far harder than I've ever done before."

To find out more about Carl's challenge or sponsor him, search for 'Carl's Cape Epic Adventure' on Facebook.

To donate to his JustGiving page, visit