Thousands take part in London to Brighton bike ride

Cyclists dressed as cows set off from Clapham in south west London
Image caption Most participants aim to complete the event in about six hours

More than 27,000 cyclists have been taking part in this year's London to Brighton charity bike ride.

The riders started the 54-mile (87km) journey from the capital to the south coast in staggered starts from Clapham, south west London, from 0600 BST.

Most participants aim to complete the ride, which passes through Surrey and Sussex, in about six hours.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF), which organises the event, said it hoped to raise more than £3.5m.

'Great day'

DJ Neil Fox said: "I really wanted to do something memorable for my 50th so sharing my big day with my fellow Team 50:50 riders and the BHF has been brilliant.

"It really is amazing and genuinely inspiring to see over 27,000 Riders cycling and raising money to help beat heart disease.

"Millions raised, a zillion smiles... and some incredibly numb bums. What a great day."

The annual ride is thought to be Europe's largest charity cycling event.

Last year cyclist Gary Allen, 48, died after he collapsed going up Ditchling Beacon, outside Brighton.

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