A SPORTY dad has raised almost £400 for Hounslow charities after taming 'The Exmoor Beast'.

Dave Young, from Castle Road in Isleworth, completed the monster cycling challenge on Sunday, raising £360 for Hounslow Youth Counselling Service and St John the Baptist Church in Isleworth.

The infamous Exmoor Beast race lived up to its name this year, with ferocious weather, including gale force winds and torrential rain forcing the organisers to abandon the 100-mile cycle route for the shorter 110km course.

Of the 1,700 riders who signed up to do battle with The Beast, Dave, 46, was one of 1,088 who completed the gruelling course.

The father-of-two said: "I could see some riders literally blown off course by the strength of the wind as I approached the hill ridges - you just had to stay focused and keep pedalling."

Dave, a quantity surveyor, and his fellow cyclists faced up to 60mph winds as they took on Exmoor's testing terrain, crossing a gushing, cobbled ford, exposed moorland and completing almost 3,000 metres of hill climbs.

Speaking on behalf of Hounslow Youth Counselling Service, Patricia Davis, the service manager, said: "HYCS is reliant upon such donations to fund its work in supporting local, young people facing emotional difficulties."

Further information about HYCS can be found by visiting www.hycs.org  and about St John the Baptist Church at www.stjohnsisleworth.org.uk.

To find out more about The Exmoor Beast cycle sportive, visit www.exmoorbeast.org