A TEAM of accountants are celebrating 25 years in the business by undertaking a gruelling charity bike ride.

The nine-strong team from Leathers LLP are taking on the Tour de Force, which follows the exact route of the Tour de France seven days ahead of the professionals.

They will pedal the 2,000-mile course from Utrecht to Paris between June 27 and July 19.

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Managing director Michael Leather will cycle all 21 stages, with others joining him at various points along the way. The whole team will cycle the final stage into Paris.

The team hopes to raise £50,000 for the William Wates Memorial Trust, which supports disadvantaged young people across the UK.

Mr Leather, whose firm has offices in Newcastle and Durham, said: “To get to 25 years in business is a real achievement, so we wanted to do something memorable. “While many people might organise a party, we signed up for the Tour de Force.

“While at first they probably thought I’d gone mad, everyone quickly got behind the idea. Every single person who works here is involved in some way.

“None of us are accomplished cyclists, so it’s a personal challenge to us all and we are training very hard.”

To sponsor the team, visit howdoyoucelebrate25yearsinbusiness.co.uk