BREAST cancer survivor Fiona Topp is joining hundreds of cyclists in a new fundraising event at Blenheim Palace, to support women battling the disease.

The 43-year-old, who was diagnosed five years ago and has now recovered, is urging other Oxfordshire residents to sign up for the Pink Ribbonride event for Breast Cancer Care.

The new 26-mile event, on August 21, has been launched after the success of last month’s Ribbonwalk around the Woodstock palace grounds for the charity.

The cycle challenge, which will stretch into the Cotswolds, is part of Breast Cancer Care’s Bike Blenheim Palace event, set to attract 5,000 visitors.

Abingdon mother-of-two Mrs Topp, who had her tumour removed through surgery, said: “I had a lump which I had checked out and it turned out to be cancer. But, because they caught it so early, I only needed surgery and didn’t have to have chemotherapy or radiotherapy.”

She said the support of her friends and family had been invaluable, but she had also relied on information from charities such as Breast Cancer Care.

She said: “They give you the support that you can’t get anywhere else. These organisations are crucial.

“If you have a worry at 11 o’clock at night, you can just log on to their website and someone will answer your question. It’s so valuable.

“I was just lucky they caught it so soon.

“My advice to people is not to ignore the symptoms– time is not on your side when it comes to cancer.”

She added: “It’s quite a big challenge. But 26.2 miles is definitely an achievable amount and the nice thing about it is that men can come along too.

“A lot of men are just as affected by breast cancer.”

The annual Bike Blenheim Palace event at the stately home has raised thousands for the charity and is backed by Olympic gold medal winning heptathlon athlete Denise Lewis.

She said: “I’m really into cycling at the moment. It’s a great way to keep fit and enjoy the local countryside.

“The chance to cycle through the beautiful grounds of Blenheim Palace, which is normally closed to cyclists, is a great treat.

“I would urge as many people as possible to take up this challenge and join us.”

Register to ride at bikeblenheimpalace. com. To sponsor Mrs Topp, visit