A FUNDRAISER who only started road cycling two years ago has taken on a 100-mile challenge.

John Watkins, 50, took part in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on Sunday, raising more than £1,300 Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-servicemen and women.

His route took him through the City of London and Canary Wharf, out to Box and Leith Hills in Surrey, and then back into London along the Mall, completing the challenge in six hours and 40 minutes.

John said: “I only started road cycling in August 2016. This was my first time on RideLondon and my first century ride.

"I have been building up to it with local two-hour rides over the last 18 months with both Andover Wheelers and Abbotts Ann Cycles Club, and some local and New Forest Sportives. I also spent a week in France in June, which included cycling up the infamous Mont Ventoux, participated in the Velothon Wales, and a local Andover cycling festival sportive.

“I’ve benefitted from some regular conditioning and endurance coaching from Tony Gifford of Velosport Cycle Coaching during the last six months. In the last two years I have lost 7kg in weight and am definitely fitter and healthier as a result.”

John chose to fundraise for Blind Veterans UK because he has a personal connection through a friend.

He added: “I’ve known her for more than 20 years and trekked Kilimanjaro and Machu Picchu with her. Blind Veterans UK supports her mother really well in Romsey, and she has often mentioned how supportive the charity has been.”

Despite the hours of rain on Sunday, John had fun taking part in his first RideLondon event.

He added: “I would like to say thanks to all the Blind Veterans UK supporters along the route, too!"

To sponsor John, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/jw-ridelondon