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Last ride for brave endurance cyclist

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Photo by: PHOTO SUPPLIED

Les Stott (left), 60, goes hard, accompanied by Norm Clark, a 55-year-old physical trainer.

After completing his fourth cross-Cambodia bicycle ride for charity last month, 60-year-old Australian Les Stott is set to throw in his spandex. Following a much-needed rest for his weary limbs, he’ll be back next year encouraging others from the sidelines.

Les has had enough of busting a gut year-on-year, and instead hopes to recruit up to 20 enthusiastic riders to take part in the six-day endurance ride in 2010.

“I’ve done four of these rides and it’s taking its toll; it knocks me about, so I’ve retired,” he told Scene. “I can get as much enjoyment seeing other people challenging themselves as I can by riding myself.”

Last month, Stott was joined by Norm Clark, a 55-year-old physical trainer from Australia. Their odyssey covered 700 kilometres over six days and took in Battambang, Pursat, Kampong Chhnang, Phnom Penh, Kampot and Sihanoukville.

Stott remembers the first day as being the toughest, when they cycled the gruelling 180 kilometres from Siem Reap to Battambang.

“After 100 kilometres my back was killing me. We had been given new, top-class bikes but the configuration was all wrong,” he revealed.

Now he’s out of the saddle, Stott wants to make next year’s ride tougher. In 2008, Stott raised US$33,000, but this time the recesson meant only $5, 000 was raised.

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