ABOUT 270 keen cyclists took to Gwent’s roads to complete a gruelling 77-mile charity bike ride yesterday morning.

The St David’s Hospice Care Big Bike Ride left Rougemont School in Newport, at 8am, and riders completed the challenge and returned there throughout the afternoon.

The challenge, which has been nicknamed the Tour de Gwent, passed through Cwmbran, then headed towards Shirenewton and then Chepstow. From there, the riders cycled through Tintern, Monmouth, and then went back to Shirenewton before heading home to Newport.

The first riders back were Steve Bickerton and Paul Jones, who completed the route in four-and-a-half hours. Some fun was also brought to the charity ride by a group of cyclists from Go Compare who wore novelty helmets.

Franca Nigra, from the hospice, who helped organise the ride, said it had been a success.

She said: “It has been a really good event. Everyone has enjoyed the route and scenery.

“The route is quite challenging with hills and highs and dips.”

She thanked staff from Safety Bikes, who accompanied the riders on the route on motorbikes, and the St John Ambulance.

Cyclists could take breaks at two rest stops along the route at The Huntsman Hotel, in Shirenewton, and in Redbook, near Monmouth.

And the fundraisers were all treated to a well-deserved barbecue and refreshments on their return to the school in Malpas Road.

To donate to the charity, visit its Just Giving page at justgiving.com/sdf