A BARRHEAD-born cyclist set to compete in the gruelling Tour De France has won the support of a sporting legend. John Goldie, 45, will attempt to complete all 20 stages of the endurance race next month to raise charity money for an organisation which helps local children.

Now we can reveal the keen amateur's feat has won backing from legendary road race cyclist Stephen Roche - who won the Tour De France in 1987.

The retired professional has offered his wholehearted support to John; praise which is sure to motivate him further in the run-up the race beginning.

John said: "It's really fantastic, Stephen Roche is one of my cycling heroes and I remember actually watching him win the Tour De France 25 years ago on the TV.

"It's not lost on me that I happen to be doing it on the 25th anniversary of his win, and it makes it all the more special." We originally told back in February how John was gearing up for the challenge.

John has so far undertaken a training regime that would see most people go weak at the knees.

He regularly cycles hundreds of miles a week, all in preparation for the endeavour where he will cycle the same distance as London to Cairo, or nearly 110 miles a day, for 20 straight days.

Last weekend John competed in the London Revolution, a 180-mile event that criss-crosses London before finishing up at Canary Wharf, and while he says that his fitness isn't a worry for him, he still can't compete with the true professionals.

Now John is preparing to leave in June for France, but the training doesn't stop as he and his custom-built racing cycle take on the Tour of Wessex this weekend, where he will cycle nearly 115 miles a day over three-day event.

However, John says it will all be worth it as he raises funds for the William Wates Memorial Trust, a charity that gives grants to help support disadvantaged children through art, sport and education.

The charity is especially active in the Barrhead area - a key factor that determined his choice. "We seem to be well on target to make what we set out to achieve," he added. "At this point it's just seeing what we can achieve above and beyond. The support has been amazing." If you are interested in supporting John in his epic challenge, please visit his website www.bmycharity.com/johngoldie for further information.