A CHARITY cyclist has been dealt a "cruel blow" to his fundraising attempts after thieves stole his bike.

Robert Gunter of Millwright House, Basin Road, Diglis, Worcester, has been busy preparing to take on the 55-mile Worcester Classic Bike Ride on Sunday, July 13 and the 100-mile Birmingham Bikeathon on Sunday, September 21 in aid of the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

However, the 27-year-old's black and white Barracuda Vivante road bike, worth about £250, was stolen between 3pm on Sunday, June 1 and 1pm Tuesday, June 3 despite being chained and locked to the railings in the underground car park at his block of flats, leaving him without a means to complete the events.

Mr Gunter said: "It's a cause very close to my heart as my girlfriend lost her father to this dreadful disease only a year ago.

"Participating in these two charity events is a huge challenge that I have set myself as I am only a beginner cycler and have never really paid attention to my fitness, so training for these two events is essential."

He added: Obviously, without the bike, the fundraising cannot go ahead. I hope that someone out there might have information that would lead to its recovery and return.

"It isn't just a bike that's been stolen. What has been stolen is my opportunity to help towards finding a cure for this awful disease, and the opportunity for sufferers, and their families, to benefit from the vital research that fundraising of this nature helps to support."

Mr Gunter, who has been riding three times a week to prepare himself for the challenges, had hoped to raise £800 for the charity and had already received pledges of £300 when the bike was stolen.

Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research is a charity dedicated to improving the lives of patients with all types of blood cancer, including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

To help Mr Gunter's cause, email robert.gunter@outlook.com or call 07702950520.

For more information and to make a donation, go to leukaemialymphomaresearch.org.uk/people/robert-gunter/55-mile-worcester-classic-100-mile-birmingham-bikeathon-2014.

Anyone with information about the theft should call the police, quoting incident 315s030614, on the non-emergency number 101.