CYCLISTS were cheered on when they set off on a 265-mile journey for charity.

The group of 34 riders used pedal power to ride from Basingstoke to Paris to raise money for the Ark Cancer Centre Charity, which is raising £5million for a cancer treatment centre in the Basingstoke area, and Kingsclere-based Bike 4 Cancer.

Setting off from the Ark Conference Centre on Wednesday morning, the Ark to Arc riders stopped off at Basingstoke’s twin town Alençon before going on to their final destination of the Arc de Triomphe.

Mark Jones, director of fundraising and communications at Ark Cancer Centre Charity, said: “The support for Ark to Arc has been fantastic. It is humbling, and gratifying, to see that 34 amazing people are taking part in this fundraising ride. They are all making a massive difference to Ark’s fundraising campaign.

“All of them have committed money, time and effort to take part, and it is a wonderful show of support.”

Headline sponsors of the event the Merit Group also hitt the bikes while the cyclists were clocking up the miles to Paris, with Merit Group staff riding a static bike at their Basingstoke office as they cover the same distance as the Ark to Arc riders and collect sponsorship.