TWO brothers from Kilbarchan have completed a gruelling cycling challenge through the Alps to raise vital funds for a leukaemia charity.

Stuart and Graeme Turnbull endured 40-degree heat as well as freezing temperatures as they slogged up some of the highest mountain routes in Europe on the eight-day, 780-mile ride from Innsbruck in Austria to Cannes in France.

So far their efforts on the routes, which are part of the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia, have raised more than £4,000 to help the Bloodwise charity conduct crucial research into all the major types of blood cancer.

This week, Stuart, 31, summed up the eight-day, 1,000km FireFlies Tour as “amazing, insane and very emotional.”

He told The Gazette: “We cycled for eight straight days with no rest days so it was very tough. Most days it was at least 30 degrees but at the top of the mountains it was freezing.

“I took a tumble on my first day and suffered cuts and bruises and that made the trip harder for me.”

Graeme, 33, said: “It was a truly amazing experience but also rewarding because we knew we were raising funds to help Bloodwise research how blood cancer works. They do this by driving smarter and faster diagnosis and finding new treatments and care.”

The route took in climbs which the world’s top cyclists find extremely challenging. They included the Col de La Bonette in France, the highest pass in Europe at 2,800 metres, and the Stelvio Pass and Mortirolo Pass in Italy.

Stuart and Graeme now live in London where they work in advertising and the media.

Their mum, Anne Graham, a designer, jeweller and silversmith who has a workshop in Kilbarchan, said: “I was very relived when they got to Cannes in one piece and I am very proud of what they have achieved.”

Apart from their cycling achievements, this is a big year for the brothers who are due to be married. Graeme is tying the knot with Jade Holford in July and Stuart and fiancee Catherine Martin are marrying in October.

Read all the latest from Renfrewshire and beyond