POLICE are appealing for information after a £7,000 bike was stolen from a Worcester triathlete who hoped to raise money in a gruelling overseas race, on behalf of a cancer charity.

Fundraiser Paul Nash, 56, of Worcester, was due to take part in an Iron Man race on Sunday, September 21 in Menorca, for McMillan Cancer Support.

But all this is on hold, because heartless thieves have stolen the bike he needs to compete.

It was stolen from the back of his car in Highbridge Road, Barking, on Sunday, August 3, at approximately 3am.

Mr Nash said: "I am saddened by the theft of my trek triathlon bike, having trained with it for months, leading up to my biggest charity race, which is the Iron Man in Menorca.

"This will affect not only my race but my ability to raise money for a great cause, which is McMillan Cancer Support."

The bicycle was secured to back his car, which was parked near a hotel he was staying in.

It is a rare racing bike and without it, Mr Nash will not be take part in the Iron Man race.

The gruelling course is a 2.4 mile swim followed by a 112 mile bike ride and finishes with a 26.2 mile run.

Mr Nash said he has never competed in the race before and hoped to raise the as much money as possible for charity.

The stolen bike is a Trek Speed Concept 7.5 Black Carbon Fibre Racing Bike. It has white handle bars, but this particular bike has been upgraded with bright red tape on the handles. He has also replaced his wheels with Fulcrum Wheels which have a particular spokes fitted. On the rear is a black storage box.

The suspects are described two white males in their teens wearing dark clothing including hoodies. One of the suspects was carrying cream-style "manbag".

Detective Constable Stacey Laslett, of the Motor Vehicle Crime Squad in Barking and Dagenham, said: "I would urge anyone who has any information to come forward as soon as possible and help us find his bike.

"Mr Nash was raising money for charities he holds close to his heart through personal experiences. He has managed to raise between £1,200 - £4,000 a year for charity. Without the bike he cannot take part and raise more money."

Anyone with information is asked the the Barking and Dagenham Motor Vehicle Crime Squad on 020 8217 7976, 07557 596255 or Crimestoppers 0800 111 555.