Cycling challenge for heroes

Matt Lavery in training for Pedals for Medals
Matt Lavery in training for Pedals for Medals
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A team of dedicated fundraisers is taking on a mammoth cycling challenge in aid of Help for Heroes.

Ex-marine Matt Lavery will join five of his pals as they attempt to cycle 1,700 miles in less than five days.

The Pedals for Medals ride will take the group from Manchester to Gibraltar non stop.

The friends will be riding in two groups of three, and will rotate after every four hours.

Matt, 34, came up with the idea and said: “We are on two teams of three, and we are riding four hours on and off rotating those two groups constantly for five days.

“We are going from Manchester outside the Imperial War Museum at 11am on May 1, and hoping to arrive at Gibraltar on May 5.”

He said: “We were sitting in the pub having a beer and someone said why don’t we do Lands End to John O’Groats but a bit different, and we thought we would go to Gibraltar. That was about 18 months ago, and here we are!”

Matt, originally from Ashton, Preston, will take on the challenge on a push bike to raise cash for Help for Heroes.

He said: “From my personal experience I know quite a few people who have been injured or killed in the conflicts that are going on.

“I’ve been out for eight years - I did 10 years - but I still know lads who are in and it’s quite hard to leave behind. I feel obliged to do a little bit. I was lucky enough to come away with all my limbs and most of my sanity, so I’m giving a little bit back.”

The group will leave from Manchester before heading to Dover, through France, over the Pyrenees, skirting Madrid and then on to Gibraltar.