PEDAL power is set to raise hundreds of pounds for charity.

Andrew Bottomley, a Capita employee from Swindon, starts a 545-mile cycle ride from Glasgow to London today in aid of Alzheimer’s Society.

He is part of a five-man team taking on the Capita Big Bike Ride. The bike ride comprises a tough week-long cycle relay across the country, starting in Glasgow and finishing in St James Park, London, on June 29.

Andrew, who has raised more than £1,875 for Alzheimer’s Society so far, said: “I’ve cycled to work for nearly five years as well as in my leisure time. A friend persuaded me to do a 28mile cycling challenge for a local hospice charity over the Marlborough Downs.

“Then I took part in the Great Western sportive, which is 50 miles. I trained hard for it and managed to get a bronze medal time. I was spurred on to ride more miles at weekends and sometimes after work.

“This year a friend of mine was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and I thought it would be a good idea to combine my love of cycling with the chance to support the Alzheimer’s Society.”

The team will be joined by a further 16 employees who will complete certain sections the route. They will also be fundraising for Alzheimer’s Society.

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “One in three people over 65 will die with dementia, so the condition will touch most of our lives at some point. The money raised will help us provide dementia support workers and fund research into the condition. We are all so grateful to the Capita team for their generous efforts.”

Juliet Feeny, CSR manager for Capita, said: “Capita’s Big Bike Ride expects to raise £18,000 for Alzheimer’s Society. We are so pleased that during our two year corporate sponsorship, Capita has raised more than £545,000.”