A PLUCKY group of 32 friends and family headed to Cherbourg for 200 miles of cycling over four days to raise lots of money for the Steve Bernard Foundation.

The group, varying in ages from 22-60, took in some of the biggest hills that Normandy has to offer alongside the famous coastline of the D-Day landings.

All the pain and effort of the riders was in memory of Steve Bernard from Bournemouth, who passed away nearly nine years ago in a car accident, with the Steve Bernard Foundation being set up in 2006 to help sporting causes within Dorset and Hampshire.

'Stevie B's' dad, Tony, set up the charity with friends and family and it has gone from strength to strength.

Tony and Steve's younger brother, Jacques, took part in the gruelling ride.

Tony said the trip had gone well - although two riders had suffered technical problems early on “We had two mechanical breakdowns on our first day. We had to get them picked up because they couldn't ride any further. We had to make 27 phone calls before we could get crew because we were on the side of a cliff,” he said.

One of the bikes was repaired thanks to support from sponsor Primera. The team then chipped in five euros each to buy the remaining rider a bike from a local supermarket, which was then given new tyres by Primera.

Since its formation, the Steve Bernard Foundation has organised an annual bike ride through France, which is now in its eighth year and is a big contributor to helping raise money to help these sporting causes.

To date, the foundation has almost raised £195,000 through fundraisers and donations, and it is hoped that this bike ride will help to hit the £200,000 mark.

Tony said the foundation was going well and helping more clubs and schools. “We're only small but we're reaching around slowly but surely and more and more people know about us,” he said.

For more info of the Foundation visit stevebernardfoundation.com