Childhood friend of Hackney cyclist Dan Cox tackles Etape du Tour in his memory

A childhood friend of Hackney cyclist Dan Cox, who died after a crash at Dalston Junction, is tackling one of the most gruelling stages of the Tour de France to raise money in his memory.

Daniel Barnes, who himself suffered a broken collar bone and dislocated shoulder in a hit and run collision while cycling home from work in 2009, has got back into the saddle to tackle the mountainous 60 mile Etape du Tour.

It allows amateur cyclists to race the same route as the professionals, although few make the distance.

The 29-year-old product designer, who lives in Clapham, took on the challenge to support the London Cycling Campaign and the medical team at the Royal London hospital where his friend Dan, who he had known since the age of 11, received treatment.

Dan, 28, of Lower Clapton Road, was seriously injured in a crash with a large Mercedes goods truck at Dalston Junction on February 2.

The aspiring art curator and bar tender died two days later.

“It was really terrible - one of those things that came completely out of the blue. You don’t expect to lose a friend like that,” said Daniel, who was recovering from an operation following his own accident at the time.

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“There was certainly some apprehension at first about getting back on the bike, but having such a close friend die makes you realise you have to make the most of the time you have got.”

He said the two cycling collisions in Hackney this week had only made him more determined to raise money for London Cycling Campaign’s No More Lethal Lorries drive. And he backed the Gazette’s Hackney Cycle Safe campaign.

“It is a matter of time before it happens again. It takes education and a bit of respect on both sides.

“It was good to see that the press that Dan’s accident got increased the awareness out there.”

Daniel hopes to raise more than �3,000 before he sets off on July 11, and is hosting a leaving party at Look Mum No Hands in Old Street at 7pm on Saturday 2nd July to help collect funds.

You can also sponsor Daniel directly by going to