A SILVERTON man braved torrential rain to cycle 100 miles to support women like his sister who is battling one of the world’s rarest diseases.

James Blackburn lined up alongside more than 80,000 other competitors for the Ride London-Surrey event on behalf of the charity LAM Action. He completed the race in 05:25:20.

The 47-year-old is raising funds to find an effective treatment for lymphangioleiomyomatosis (known as LAM) which mainly affects the lungs.

"We had a great day for what was a brilliantly organised event,” said James, who is director of Carbon Green Consulting in Exeter.

“The riders were outstanding and the crowds were amazing, cheering us all on, rain or shine.

“It has been a pleasure to raise money for LAM Action and help raise more awareness."

James’ sister, Helen Sabin from Leamington, is one of only around 150 women in the UK with the progressive condition which causes cysts to develop in the lungs and can make it difficult to breathe.

The mother of two was diagnosed six years ago. She has been able to control the progression of the disease by taking the medication Rapmycin and uses an oxygen canister to help her breathe.

James took up cycling last year, three weeks before competing his first sponsored 100 mile ride for Helen.

The 100-mile RideLondon route went through the capital into Surrey towards Dorking to the world-famous zig-zags of Box Hill, and returned to The Mall.