Page last updated at 16:56 GMT, Sunday, 15 June 2008 17:56 UK

Thousands take part in bike ride

Cyclists on London to Brighton bike ride at start line
The 27,000 cyclists started the ride in Clapham Common

About 27,000 cyclists have taken part in the annual 54-mile London-to-Brighton sponsored ride.

Enthusiasts set off from Clapham Common in south London from 0600 BST.

The route took riders through Wandsworth and Sutton in south London into Sussex and then to the finish line on Brighton seafront.

The annual event, which raised 3.9m for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) last year, is considered the biggest of its kind in Europe.

Laura Preece, of the BHF, said: "We couldn't have asked for better weather. In 2007, the charity raised 3.9 million through the event and this year we are hoping to raise the same amount if not more.

"It's not a race, so the event is accessible to all abilities and is a great day out for the family.

"We get a vast age range of people taking part. You can join in from the age of 14, but we've had people well into their 80s riding.

"Once people have done it, they want to keep coming back every year."

The London-to-Brighton ride has raised about 42m for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) since it began in 1980.

Julie Sorrell, head of events at the BHF, said the funds raised from the event meant the charity could continue its lifesaving work.

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