A DARING Darlington dentist is gearing up to complete a nine-day cycle ride to help raise thousands of pounds for charity.

Simon Holguin, from Victoria Dental Practice, in Victoria Road, will begin at John O'Groats, in Scotland, on Saturday.

He will head south towards Land's End, with the aim of raising £1,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

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The ride, which covers a gruelling 874 miles and will be attempted by 30 dentists, is being organised by Denplan, a dental payment specialist.

Mr Holguin said: "I'm a keen cyclist and have always wanted to try out this challenging route.

"I'm also a great supporter of Macmillan, so when Denplan partnered with the charity to host this ride, I saw the ideal opportunity to do something I enjoyed while raising money for a great cause.

"I'm feeling excited and enthused but slightly intimidated at the same time – however, the knowledge that I'll be riding on the same roads as the Tour de France will use in the summer is a great inspiration.

"I lost my youngest brother to his battle with leukaemia in 1992, when he was just eight-years-old, so raising as much money as possible as part of this challenge is extremely important to me.

"Macmillan is a brilliant charity that provides vital medical, emotional, practical and financial support to families and really does make a difference.

"My patients have been so supportive, meaning that I'm now well on my way towards reaching my sponsorship target of £1,000.

"I'm so thankful to them for their generosity and belief in me – I won't let them down."

In the North-East there are more than 353 Macmillan health and social care professionals.

A total of 471 people in County Durham received Macmillan Grants last year, totalling more than £145,000.

These were used to cover everyday expenses such as travel to hospital, heating costs, clothing, household bills and many other items.

To sponsor Mr Holguin, visit justgiving.com/simonholguin, or call 01325-462361.