Suckler farmer and co-owner of Lely Mullingar, Alan Heaney is aiming to cycle 2,000km for charity.

The cycle got under way on Tuesday 18 June, starting from Lourdes in the south of France, through the country, across the English Channel by ferry, through England and then sailing to Dublin Port for the home stretch.

The group was lucky not to miss the first leg of their journey when their jeep broke down on the way to the ferry.

“We had to source a jeep in the space of 30 minutes,” Alan told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“Luckily, Tullamore Motors came and helped out. We rang ahead and Stena said they’d hold the boat as long as they could but we still would have missed it if it hadn’t been delayed anyway.”

Alan Heaney and a team-mate mapping the route.

The group has raised a total of €20,000 already in donations for Downs Syndrome West and the IFA/Pieta House phone service for farmers experiencing mental health issues.

Heaney thanked the large number of agri-businesses who had donated and said they were hoping to raise over €30,000.

The Lourdes to Knock cycling group at Lourdes on the morning they started the charity cycle.

“We’ve been training from 4am in the morning, fitting farming and work around cycling,” he said.

The group aims to do roughly 400km per day over five days.

For the final stretch from Dublin Port to Knock on Saturday 22 June, the group would like to invite farmers and agri-businesses to jump into the peloton and join them along the way.

If you'd like to support the charity cycle you can go to their page by clicking here.