Heroic soldier finishes gruelling cycle race

TOUGH Sgt Simon Harmer
TOUGH Sgt Simon Harmer
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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A WOUNDED soldier has completed one of the world’s toughest cycling races ahead of schedule.

Sgt Simon Harmer, who lives near Winchester and trained with the army at Fort Blockhouse in Gosport, was part of Team Battle Back, which completed the 3,051 mile Race Across America in seven days, seven hours and 59 minutes.

The 36-year old lost both of his legs in an IED explosion and every member of the team had either been wounded on operations or injured in training.

The team, which raised money for Help for Heroes, cycled between 350 and 500 miles a day over a distance which is almost a third longer than the Tour de France.

Sgt Harmer completed the race on a hand bike. He said: ‘It was 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 race and I’d like to say thank you to everyone for their support.’

Team leader Jonpaul Nevin, from Help for Heroes, said: ‘This is one of the toughest things the guys have done since suffering a life-changing injury.’