A GROUP of local amateur cyclists who undertook the mighty task of cycling 188 miles over two days in memory of their good friend have handed over the cash raised.

Kevin ‘Stokie’ Basting lost his battle with cancer in 2017, inspiring the group of five cyclists and three support personnel to raise £5,000 for Cancer Research UK through cycling.

Over the August Bank Holiday weekend, in awful weather conditions, the team set off from Stoke City’s Bet365 Stadium on their sizeable journey which included a first day of 100 miles to complete before reaching their overnight accommodation.

On day two they set off from just east of Coventry to complete the remaining 88 miles.

The most experienced cyclist of the group Phil Lunn said: “I cannot remember being on a bike in worse weather than we had on the Sunday with the wind and rain lashing at the riders for a good eight hours that day.”

On their triumphant return to the Station Inn, Andover, they were greeted by around 100 supporters including friends, family and well-wishers who enjoyed live music and a BBQ whilst collecting donations throughout the day.

Since the group finished their cycle, donations have been flooding in and the fundraisers have now presented a total of £7,179.59 to Cancer Research UK.

Nicola Dunford, fundraising manager, said: “Cancer Research UK is so grateful to everyone involved with Ride for Stokie for their hard work and commitment to raising an amazing amount of money. Together we will beat cancer by using this money to fund lifesaving research!”

Dean Noble, a long-term friend of Kevin’s summed up the event as a “great success for anyone who has ever been touched by cancer. It was a fantastic weekend to remember Kev by and we hope this will continue for years to come.”