A COUNCILLOR is to take part in a gruelling cycle race to raise money for Southend Hospital.

Adam Jones, who announced last year that he will stand down as a Tory councillor in the forthcoming elections, has signed up for the brutal race that is Paris- Roubaix – referred to as a Monument.

The race is known for its crashes and punctures and making it to the finishing line can seem moreamatter of luck, than brute force and skill.

Mr Jones, 47, from Barling, is tackling the cobbled roads of northern France to raise money for Southend Hospital’s Keyhole Cancer Appeal and to thank the team that looked after him after a horse riding accident in February 2013.

He said: “I broke my tibia and fibula and, following the operation to insert a titanium pin into my leg, I used cycling and spin sessions at my local gym to get back to fitness and rediscovered my love of the sport by watching a lot of cycling on Eurosport.

“Last year’s race was enthralling and I thought I’d ride the sportive version for charity.”

Mr Jones is tackling the intermediate 141km route with friend Gary Poynter.

Mr Jones added: “I’ve been training on average six days a week, but the closer the event gets, the more I’m beginning to worry. A lot of my friends have taken great delight in sharing scary photos of riders crashing on the cobbles or telling me gory details of just what can go wrong.

“Consequently, I’m trying to console myself that what I lack in raw power and bike-handling ability, I can make up for with a high pain threshold.”

Mr Jones starts his ride starts on Saturday, April 11. It will conclude in Roubaix’s famous open air velodrome – which also provides the backdrop for the race’s finish. On the way, he expects to tackle some of the race’s most famous sections, including the daunting Arenberg Forest, and will be in the saddle for about six hours.

He said: “From what I’ve read, the Arenberg is just sheer violence in road form. If it’s wet, the cobbles will be super-slippery and even more of a handful than a bolting horse.

“However, the pain and sheer hell of what I’ll be going through is nothing compared to what cancer sufferers have to endure.

That’s why I want to help the Keyhole Cancer Appeal.”

Britain’s Sir Bradley Wiggins is hoping for victory in the race, before retiring from the road and returning to the track.

! You can support Adam and the Keyhole Cancer Appeal by making a donation via his Just Giving page at justgiving.com/ Adam-Jones67