A VALLEYS man is embarking on a three-city cycle challenge across Europe for charity.

Liam Baines, 21, of Nantyglo, has been training for his 332-mile cycle ride, which begins in London and will include Amsterdam and Brussels.

The Ebbw Vale college student was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel condition, around two years ago and aims to raise more than £1,500 for Crohn’s and Colitis UK.

The charity aims to improve life for anyone affected by inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease.

He said: “I was diagnosed at the same time as Darren Fletcher. As a Manchester United fan myself it really helped that there was more publicity at the time about the condition.

“I am on medication which I have to take every morning, I have a mild condition but it does impact on your life.”

The Three City Challenge cycle, which takes place from August 27 until August 31, is part of the Do It for charity event which will include 70 cyclists from around the UK.

Mr Baines’ first day will be a 90-mile cycle from London to Harwich where he will catch an overnight ferry to Holland.

The second day will involve 60 miles of cycling from Holland to Amsterdam and the third day will consist of 112 miles from Amsterdam to Turnhout in Belgium with the final 70 miles from Turnhout to Brussels on the fourth day.

He said: “I started cycling at the gym when I gave up smoking as part of my new year’s resolution this year. I found I could easily do 20 to 30 miles on the bike.

“I’ve got all the kit now and a road bike, so I will be starting to train on the roads for the next few months. The cycle will be a challenge but I’m really looking forward to seeing all of the different countries, as I have never been to Holland or Belgium before. If this goes well, I would like to take part in the Tour de France next year. My friends and family have been incredibly supportive of my fundraising efforts.”

Mr Baines will have his legs waxed at Legends in Brynmawr on May 4 to raise money for the charity and will host a dart tournament on May bank holiday at the King William pub in Brynmawr.

lTo donate visit, doitforcharity.com/liambaines