Stephen Smith was very reluctant to ask people to sponsor him on his 100-mile cycle challenge.

The 53-year old is a keen cyclist, but as he trained for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic sportive, which is held on a similar course to the 2012 Olympic road race, he wasn’t sure about asking for sponsorship.

Stephen, who works in Ramsbury, south of Swindon, and works in Newbury said: “I’d never ridden 100 miles before, I’ve done a few 80 or 90 milers but never that distance.

“I knew a lot of people would be rising for charity, but I got my place through an open ballot, so didn’t have to. And I didn’t really want to badger everyone I knew for money, especially as I wasn’t quite sure I’d be able to finish the ride. I didn’t want to get everyone excited and take their money, but then say I wasn’t going to do it.”

But repeated laps of a 16-mile training loop near his home, and a reconnaissance visit to Leith Hill and the famous Box Hill on the course meant that Stephen, a finance director for technology company 3T RPD, became a lot more confident.

He said: I knew I’d be able to do it, and thought it would be selfish of me not to do any fundraising.”

As his wife Vanessa works at the Great Western Hospital as a midwifery sister, Stephen’s thought’s turned to helping out.

He said: "I saw the Brighter Futures campaign and I knew that’s what I wanted to raise money for. It was a real no-brainer for me, especially when I saw that the current appeal is for a radiotherapy unit. We all know someone who has been affected by cancer in some way, who has needed that treatment, and I really wanted to help bring the unit to Swindon.”

As soon as Stephen started fundraising, and training in his bright orange Brighter Futures jersey, he says he was ‘blown away’ by the support he received.

He has exceeded his target of £700 by more than £100, and Stephen adds: “With gift aid, that will come to more than £1,000.

“The support I have got actually made me quite emotional, it was quite moving. The weather was terrible on the ride, wet and very windy. But I really did feel that the people who had supported me and made donations were with me every step of the way. It was genuinely a very emotional day for me.”

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