A HEART patient is preparing for a gruelling cycle challenge to raise funds for charity.

Anthony Garbutt, from Yarm, suffers from atrial tachycardia, which causes a rapid heartbeat.

He will ride from Darlington to Paris in May, a distance of about 1,200 miles – and back again, to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

His route will take him through London and Amiens, in northern France, Darlington’s twin town.

His aim is to make this trip cost-neutral, which will mean 100 per cent of donations received can be forwarded to his chosen charity.

Mr Garbutt is looking for donations of equipment, accommodation and even pit stops for food along the route.

His exact route is yet to be determined and he is open to the idea of visiting places on request in order to benefit from donations.

The 31-year-old said: “Atrial tachycardia has led to a few issues for me.

“This is supposed to be managed by strong beta blockers, however I chose to stop taking them because of the negative impact on my body and my life.”

Louise Parkes, BHF fundraising director, added: “I’d like to extend my thanks to Anthony for taking on this big challenge.

“The money that he raises will help us to continue our vital work.

“I would like to encourage people to show their support by sponsoring Anthony.”

For more information, call Mr Garbutt on 07905-292-855, email anthgarbutt@gmail.com or visit tour-de-euro.co.uk