WOUNDED Royal Marine Joe Townsend has completed one of the world’s toughest cycling races ahead of schedule.
Joe, who lives in Hankham, was part of a team of British wounded servicemen delighted to complete the ride and smash their target.
Joe is part of Team Battle Back, supported by Help for Heroes, who were warmly welcomed into Annapolis, MD on June 16 after completing the 3,051 mile Race Across America (RAAM) in just seven days, seven hours, 59 minutes with an average speed of more than 17mph.
Joe, 24, lost both of his legs in an IED explosion in Afghanistan and completed the race on a hand bike.
He said, “It’s been a tough eight days but it’s a huge achievement to have got this far. Kansas was definitely the toughest part, with the heat and barren landscape. It feels awesome to have completed the RAAM.”
Every rider in Team Battle Back has been either wounded on operations or injured in training, including four double amputees who have tackled the race on hand bikes.
This is the first time British military wounded have attempted the race and they have been competing against both professional and amateur cyclists as well as a team of US wounded.
Since June 16 the team have cycled 3,051 miles, non-stop, 24 hours a day, in temperatures of up to 45 degrees Celsius and through 12 states from Oceanside CA before arriving in Annapolis MD.
The cyclists are raising money for Help for Heroes. To donate £5 text RAAM to 70900 or leave a message of support and donation at www.bmycharity.com/battlebackraam2012. Keep up with the latest news from the team via Twitter (@BB_RAAM2012), on Facebook and at www.helpforheroes.org.uk.