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NZ finish line nears for marathon cyclist

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/10/2016

Mr Rohfritsch, who has a degree in sustainability, has been carrying just a backpack with him since he set off in July 2015. © Getty Images Mr Rohfritsch, who has a degree in sustainability, has been carrying just a backpack with him since he set off in July 2015. Some cheese on toast and plenty of sleep will be on Frenchman's Theo Rohfritsch wishlist after his long journey comes to an end in Invercargill.

On Thursday, when Mr Rohfritsch gets off his sustainably-sourced bamboo bicycle - his "home" for more than a year - he will have completed a 25,000km marathon that began in France.

Along the way, he has pedalled through 21 countries and raised $16,000 in a Cycle for Water initiative to raise awareness of the importance of clean water for sustainable development.

The money will go towards providing clean water for more than 1000 children in four schools in Thailand.

"After I arrive in Invercargill, I may want to sleep for three days straight," Mr Rohfritsch said.

He intends to head to Queenstown for some skiing afterwards before returning to France and his next challenge - "finding a job".

Mr Rohfritsch, who has a degree in sustainability, has been carrying just a backpack with him since he set off in July 2015.

He said the most touching moment had been meeting the Thai children who would benefit from his ride.

He began the final leg in Auckland on September 1 and his New Zealand itinerary has taken him through Taupo, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch, Timaru, Ashburton, Dunedin and Bluff.

He said he had been inspired by people he met along the way, but there had been challenges.

They included the country's hilly terrain and experiencing "the wettest day ever" while heading towards Wellington.

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