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Downhill racer

WHAT with hiving off another school to the private sector (what will he do when they're all gone?) Paul Gray, Surrey's athletic director of education, has some time on his hands.

He's using it well, with a half-term trip to take a good look at that emerging giant of capitalism, the People's Republic of China. No lazy sightseeing tour this. Dr Gray will be donning lycra to cyclefrom the Great Wall of China to Tiananmen Square to raise money for Mencap.

The Diary seems to recall from a recent trip that it's mainly downhill, but extra challenge should be provided by Beijing's lung-seizing smog. Paul has been doing practice runs, but unless he did them in the Dartford tunnel at rush hour, it's unlikely to have prepared him for the real thing.

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