A WEYMOUTH man is attempting to cycle 800 miles from the north to the south coast of France to raise funds for the Will Mackaness Trust.

Former Wey Valley student Ben Winstanley set off on Sunday, and is cycling an average of 100 miles a day to raise funds and awareness for the cause.

The Trust, which is the chosen charity of the Dorset Echo’s Going for Gold campaign, aims to enable young people to experience the thrill of water activities and to financially support those who show a particular skill to progress further.

Ben’s ‘Mediterranean or Bust’ challenge is set to be completed by the end of the Easter holidays.

He was inspired to take on the challenge by his good friend Sam Gawler, who he met through the Dorset Expeditionary Society, who suggested proceeds should go to the Will Mackaness Trust to encourage young people to get active.

In his Monday blog, Ben wrote: “Cracking start to the route; made 130 miles, plus only got lost once in St Malo!

“Climbed over 4,000ft on endless rolling hills, great freewheeling few seconds but long climbs out of valley bottoms; drank eight litres of water and still thirsty.

“Bike and legs in good shape although starting to ache a bit after nine hours in saddle.”

Trust founder and Will’s mum Pam Govier said: “What an amazing challenge Ben’s set himself – the distance is incredible.

“It’s great that he’s chosen to support the Trust at the same time.”

Support the cycle challenge online at www.mycharitypage.com/benwinstanley