AN Ilkley man has set off on his very own Grand Depart bike ride from Leeds to Paris to raise money for the baby charity, Tommy's.

Rob Pratt, a member of Ilkley Cycle Club, left Leeds Town Hall at 7.30am on Wednesday and is aiming to rise the 450miles over five days, during which time he'll use up around 25,000 calories.

Riding within a group of 25 'Yorkshire Mafia' business people, they will arrive in Paris under the Eiffel Tower on Sunday, September 7. Each rider has their own charity but Rob chose Tommy’s, a charity that funds medical research into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth and provides information on having a healthy pregnancy.

"I met the people from Tommy’s at a client conference in Dublin and was really impressed with their goals and approach. Most people know of someone who has been affected in some way by birthing issues and I was astounded by their statistic that one in four women lose a baby during pregnancy and birth. As if I needed any further reason, our client, Ilkley-born Water Babies are Tommy’s second largest donor behind Asda, which I’m very proud of them for.”

He is half way towards his goal of raising £1000. If you wish to sponsor him, his page is at or