A TRIO of enterprising cyclists from Bishopstone are among some 5,000 amateur riders taking part in this weekend's Tour de France warm-up event.

Nineteen years since the world's most famous cycle race was last started on these shores, the Tour is due to get under way in London.

And to mark the occasion, British Cyclosportive has opened the roads to hobby and club riders to compete over the full first stage of this year's tour.

Dan Brunton, John Ellis and Simon Small have collectively put in some 1,300 miles of training over 75 hours in preparation for the race.

They have set their sights on completing the 120-mile trip in around eight hours, following the same course that the professionals will race the following weekend.

However, there will be no lavish prize money or yellow jerseys on offer to the trio.

Their reward for successfully completing the course will be to raise cash for their chosen charities.

Racehorse breeder Brunton is riding in support of the Injured Jockeys' Fund, and has already raised more than £1,500.

Ellis and Small are riding for the Richard Burns Foundation, a charity set up in memory of the English rallying champion who died of a brain tumour at the age of 32.

The three are being supported by Blinx Opticians in New Canal.