THOUSANDS of cyclists are on their way to Brighton in a sponsored bike ride to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

The charity's ambassador Pippa Middleton crossed the finish line on the seafront this morning and said she was "thrilled" to be involved in the event.

The Duchess of Cambridge's sister was one of around 22,000 cyclists who gathered at Clapham Common, London, in the early hours of this morning before setting off on the 54-mile route.

More than 800,000 cyclists have taken part in the event since it started 40 years ago, raising more than £65 million for the charity's efforts to reduce heart disease.

Miss Middleton added: "This event is testament to the fact that cycling is such an inclusive sport that everyone can enjoy.

"Through the money raised, the BHF can continue to help the millions of people affected by coronary heart disease – the UK’s single biggest killer.”