CYCLISTS riding in tribute to a friend retraced the 100-mile route on which he suffered a 'tragic accident'.

Members of Abingdon's Outdoor Traders Cycling Club united for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 sportive in memory of former club member Richard Kell, who died during the same event last year.

Grandfather-of-two Mr Kell, 71, failed to recover from a three-week coma after crashing into a tree during the ride in July 2016.

More than 10 of his friends at the club hopped back onto their bikes to take part in the event this year.

Club chairman Chris Brand said: "He was an absolutely delightful man and was always the one on those cold rides who would keep everyone's morale up.

"We had a special entry this year because of his death. Richard was a very active member of the club and very well-liked. Some of the tributes we had [after he died] were he was a 'kind-hearted guy' with a 'smile that told all'."

Besselsleigh resident Mr Brand said Mr Kell, who lived in North Abingdon, had 'died doing what he loved best'.

He added: "There was a tinge of sadness mixed with pride [during the ride] to be able to take part in his memory."

The team completed the event at the end of July, starting at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London and riding through the capital into Surrey, before finishing in The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.

Back in Abingdon after the ride, the team was joined by Mr Kell's wife Hilary Kell and their two grandchildren, Harvey and Theo.

Mrs Kell, who spoke to the Abingdon Herald last year about her husband's zest for life, added: "He was such a happy person. He loved his cycling and loved his family – he was so full of life. It was a tragic accident."

The RideLondon event last year was the same in which Bicester fundraiser Robin Chard also died, after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Mr Brand said several club members observed changes along the route this year, which appeared to be safety measures taken after Mr Kell's death.

He said: "We noticed in some of the more exposed areas, they [the organisers] had wrapped trees in inflatable protection, which hadn't been there previously."

Outdoor Traders Cycling Club has also set up a racing event in Mr Kell's memory, the Richard Kell Memorial Series, which will begin at Abingdon Airfield on September 23 for the second year running.

The club has about 100 members and is now based at Behind Bars Cycles in Coxeter House, Abingdon, after its former home at Outdoor Traders shop in High Street shut earlier this year.