A CHARITY cycle challenge across Belgium has begun in aid of The Argus Appeal.

The team of 60 intrepid cyclists and ten support staff gathered at The Sportsman restaurant in Withdean Stadium, Brighton, at 6am yesterday before embarking on the five-day expedition.

The near 145-mile ride, which coincides with the first anniversary of the First World War, takes in Ypres, two major war cemeteries, Bruges and Brussels, all in Belgium.

Yesterday, the cohort started in Bergeus, near Dunkirk, and were due to watch the Last Post at the Menin Gate in Ypres last night.

Elsa Gillio, of The Argus Appeal, was there to see them off.

She said: “Spirits were high and the bus driver was full of joy.

“Everyone turned up on time and got away as planned.

“The Sportsman was very generous to us in opening earlier than usual and we enjoyed coffee and bacon rolls with them.

“It was a nice way to start the journey.”

A coach and four support vehicles headed in convoy towards Dover before crossing the Channel to begin the cycle challenge.

The Argus Appeal is the charity of The Argus, Sussex’s only daily newspaper.

The appeal is celebrating more than 50 years of giving to local people.

Choosing to support The Argus Appeal guarantees that every penny raised goes towards helping those in real need in the community.

Those wishing to apply to the appeal should write to Elsa Gillio, The Argus Appeal, Argus House, Crowhurst Road, Hollingbury, Brighton BN1 8AR, call 01273 544465 or email elsa.gillio@theargus.co.uk with details of who you are, what you do, what you need and who will benefit.

Don’t miss The Argus for updates on The Argus Appeal Dunkirk to Brussels Cycle Challenge.