Cycling star Mark Cavendish led thousands of fundraisers, many of whom had set off from the Help for Heroes recovery centre at Tidworth, as they rode their bikes in glorious summer sunshine to raise cash for wounded soldiers.

The cyclists, with several injured service personnel among them, brought journeys totalling 160,000 miles to the finishing line at Horse Guards Parade in central London today.

Some had cycled from as far as Brussels, others from Edinburgh, Cardiff or Manchester, all aiming to raise £1 million for Help For Heroes.

Cavendish and his wife Peta, who are patrons for the charity, were among the throng who made their way through London from Blackheath Common in the south east of the capital to the Cenotaph.

The 29-year-old sprinter, who has won 25 stages of the Tour de France and is currently preparing for this year's event, said: "You can't help but be inspired by what our servicemen do for our country, what they put up with while they're in service and when they finish.

"I never knew about it until I met my wife Peta, she's a patron for the charity.

"The guys are great, they're incredible people and their stories are inspirational, just how they carry on.

"You can't put it into words, they're such a funny group of people who just have a laugh.

"What Help For Heroes does for our soldiers is phenomenal and it's an honour to represent them."

The cyclists taking part in the Hero Ride congregated before the Cenotaph in Whitehall, where wreaths were laid in remembrance of those who have been killed or injured in combat.

The Ode of Remembrance was recited and four buglers played the Last Post before a two minutes' silence was observed.

Crowds of onlookers and curious tourists cheered as the cyclists set off for the final leg and filed down the Mall and into Horse Guards Parade.

Former Page 3 girl Peta, 27, completed the 335-miles Big Battlefield Bike Ride from Brussels to Paris before finishing in London today.

She said: "I have supported Help For Heroes since the charity was founded and took part in their first ever cycle ride back in 2008 so it's great to have done the Big Battlefield Bike Ride again.

"I have witnessed the great work that Help For Heroes do to support those who have suffered life-changing injuries and illnesses and I want to do all I can to help raise as much as possible."