Welwyn Garden City man cycling from London to Spain in ten days

FOR most of us, when travelling to Spain, the only sensible mode of transport is a plane.

At a push – especially with all that volcanic ash around – you may consider driving or getting a boat.

You almost certainly wouldn’t want to cycle the full 892 miles from London to Santander.

But that is exactly what a WGC man is doing during a 10-day charity fundraising challenge.

Ben Thompson, pictured left, and a group of friends, including former WGC resident Steve White, right, started the long trek to the northern Spanish coast today (Wednesday).

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Before pedalling off, Ben told the WHT he had been training every Sunday since November and bought a new bike in February.

“We’ve been going when it’s been raining, when it’s been really, really cold and towards the end we have been doing 100 miles each time, so it’s been really hard. Hopefully it’s worth it.”

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After crossing the Channel to France, the route will take them through La Rochelle, Biarritz, Bilbao and San Sebasti�n before they reach their final destination.

The 40-year-old said he has always wanted to do a charity stunt and when cycling to France was suggested, the group thought they would extend the challenge.

“Cycling 100 miles is the equivalent of running a marathon, so we are effectively completing eight marathons back-to-back! It’s going to be very tough.”

Ben, a director of mortgages at Legal & General, said the group was raising funds for Shelter, one of the firm’s chosen charity partners, and Rethink, a severe mental illness charity.

The dad-of-two added there was “no choice” but to finish the challenge and on time, as he was meeting his family for a holiday in Spain once he arrived.

“It’s absolutely going to happen,” he said.

“So many people have backed us and we have that as well as the thought of the charities to keep us motivated.

“Shelter is a very important charity, we wanted to support Shelter’s work with the homeless and badly housed families, and also we know someone who is affected by the issues Rethink deal with.”

So far the group has raised almost �20,000.

To sponsor Ben visit www.justgiving.com/Ben-thompson0

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