The Tour de France is one of the most arduous races in the world, and it has also become one of the most followed races in 2018, especially when there is an underlying cause that gets everyone hooked. That’s the case this year with Houstonian Lawson Craddock, who suffered a horrific crash in Stage 1 of the 21-stage race.
Somehow, miraculously, Craddock climbed back on his bicycle to complete the stage. And, while many riders would have abandoned the race, this Texas native remained in the race. And, he’s laid down the gauntlet to raise money for the Greater Houston Cycling Foundation, and set up a GoFundMe page for others to meet his challenge.
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“This money will be directed towards the Alkek Velodrome which is where I got my start in cycling. The outdoors concrete velodrome has suffered during the Texas heats, and especially by Hurricane Harvey in September 2017,”
Craddock said on his GoFundMe page that features an image of his bloodied face as he cross the Stage 1 finish line. He also suffered a broken shoulder blade in the crash.
“I fought on for the next 50 miles to finish the stage before an X-Ray revealed my injuries,” he said.
Craddock launched the GoFundMe account as “extra motivation,” and pledged to donate $100 for every stage he completes of the Tour de France. He also challenged fans everywhere to follow him and donate what they could – and those fans didn’t let him down.
As of Tuesday morning, Craddock has raised just over $29,000 – $8,000 over his original goal, and the race has only just begun. The amounts ranged from as low as $6 to as much as $1,800, both of which were made by anonymous donors. Craddock has donated $300 total so far, along with his parents who have donated $100, so far.
“I have truly been blown away by how many people have offered to donate as well. It has been overwhelming and extremely motivating to continue this race,” he said.
Craddock, who is one of five American riders in the 2018 Tour de France and wears No. 13, has emerged as an unsung hero in the grueling race across France. Commentators for the event have featured daily updates on his condition and profiled his progress throughout the race. He currently is in 174th place – last place – and more than 18 minutes behind race leader, Greg Van Avermaet.
His performance also has gotten much attention from a fellow Texas – dethroned cyclist Lance Armstrong. During his daily podcast, The Move, Armstrong has commended Craddock’s will to continue. He’s also contributed to Craddock’s GoFundMe campaign.
The 21-stage race, which covers more than 2,000 miles, finishes on July 29 on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
Craddock isn’t the first Houston area athlete to channel the damage of Hurricane Harvey to raise money. In the days that followed the storm’s landfall, Houston Texans star J.J. Watt pledged to raise $200,000 for the victims, which morphed into millions in donations.
READ ALSO: Harvey Relief: A Timeline Of How J.J. Watt’s Relief Fund Went From $100K To $27 Million
To make a donation, or learn more about Craddock’s quest to help, click the link to go to this GoFundMe page. GoFundMe is a partner of Patch.com.
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