CYCLISTS from across the county gathered to take part in the Rotary Dorset Bike Ride in aid of Cancer Research yesterday.

More than 600 competitors took part across eight cycling routes, from a 10-mile circuit to the gruelling 108-mile course, with all routes starting and finishing at Longthorns Farm and Campsite, located next to Monkey World.

Run by the Westbourne Rotary Club, the event sees more than riders of all ages cycle around the countryside of Dorset raising money so we can beat cancer.

Event organiser Richard Burnett said: “The whole thing has gone extremely well. The weather has been on our side and we have had perfect cycling conditions.

“Everyone that has taken part has really enjoyed themselves. The youngest cyclist we have had was a five-year-old who took part in the 10-mile cycle and our oldest cyclist was an 80-year-old who did the 82-mile cycle.

“We won’t know exactly who much we have raised for another four or five weeks, but we are predicting between £35,000 and £40,000.”

Cyclists peddled their way through stunning scenery and were greeted with stunning views along the way, through the Hartland Moor Nature Reserve, the New Forest and Lulworth.

Since the event began seven years ago, more than £300,000 has been raised for the cancer charity.

The cyclist who raises the most sponsorship for Cancer Research UK from the Ride by October 30 will win four 12-month memberships to Springfield Hotel’s leisure club.

Mr Burnett added: “Harvest Fine Food have provided all the cyclists with free food when they complete their cycle.

“We also have around 200 volunteers who marshal the cycles along the whole route, and they are a big part of the event.

"So, I would like to thank everyone who has volunteered because without them we wouldn’t be able to host this event ”