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Ride in memory of tragic Kelly raises £1,400

Cyclist Craig Townsend has raised more than £1,400 in memory of hairdresser Kelly Ross who died this summer aged just 32.

Mr Townsend, 34, of Quakers Walk, Devizes, was one of more than 450 riders who took part in the Wiltshire 100 and Big Wheel ride on Sunday.

He left the Green at 7am with friends Paul Paradise and Carl Minshull and arrived back at 2.50pm after covering 100 miles of Wiltshire countryside. He was determined to raise money for The Forever Friends Appeal at the Royal United Hospital, Bath, where mother-of-two Mrs Ross was treated for cancer.

Mr Townsend said: “Money is still coming in but at the moment stands at £1,426 which is fantastic considering my original target was only £500. I had a text from Kelly’s brother Ashley on Sunday night saying the family were proud of me.”

Mr Townsend wore a t-shirt printed with Mrs Ross’ photograph showing the smile that will always be remembered by all her family including her cousin Abi, who is Mr Townsend’s wife.

Mr Paradise, 32, of Forty Acres Road and Mr Minshull, 33, who works with Mr Townsend at Cross Manufacturing in Devizes, both raised money for Wiltshire Air Ambulance along with a large group of other riders. They both took up cycling to help lose weight and have seen astonishing results. Mr Minshull has lost four stone and Mr Paradise nine stone.

He said: “I selected Wiltshire Air Ambulance because a family member a few years ago was treated by them, but sadly he passed away from the injuries.You never know when you will need them yourself.”

Race organiser Euan Scott-Batey said: “It was a fabulous day. The weather was perfect as it was not too hot and not too cold and there was no wind. We had over 450 riders including about 50 people taking part in the 12 mile family ride.

“This is our third time of running the race from Devizes and we would love to be back next year. It was fantastic to see so many riders raising money for different charities and this year there was a large number supporting Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

“Riders seemed to really enjoy the route and a number said they were seeing parts of Wiltshire they did not know existed. Cycling has become more and more popular and these days lots of people want to do the 100 mile route. Going back cycling used to be the preserve of the poor or the odd but now more middle aged men are buying cycles than they are motorbikes.”

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