A VALE of Clwyd cyclist joined international rugby stars and an Olympic legend to complete an epic journey north.

Ruthin Rugby Club stalwart Rob Boyns has become the first Welshman to complete the Doddie Aid 555 Cup bike ride.

Rob, from Boyns Information Systems Ltd in Ruthin, was part of the core team that cycled from the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, to Murrayfield in Edinburgh, transporting the match ball for last Saturday's Doddie Weir Cup match between Scotland and Wales in the Six Nations Championship.


Denbighshire Free Press: The cyclists reach ScotlandThe cyclists reach Scotland (Image: Submitted)


Denbighshire Free Press: The group at Cardiff's Principality StadiumThe group at Cardiff's Principality Stadium (Image: Submitted)


Denbighshire Free Press: The core group is a smart bunch!The core group is a smart bunch! (Image: Submitted)


It was in support of Doddie Aid, a high-profile charity set up in memory of Scottish international and legend Doddie Weir, who tragically passed away from motor neurone disease (MND) in November.

Rob joined former Scotland captain Rob Wainwright, British and Irish Lions, and cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy over the course of the journey.

READ MORE: Ruthin cyclists will back Doddie Aid before Six Nations game

"I felt that I had a massive responsibility to Wales to complete the ride as I was riding in the core team captained by Rob Wainwright, who was the former rugby captain for Scotland," said Rob.

"I feel really honoured to have been part of this journey.

"Rob asked me if I would help him set up Team Wales when I visited the Isle of Coll last summer and I felt that if I was going to help steer Wales as a Doddie Aid country, I had to complete to inspire others!

"Cycling through Edinburgh with all the thousands of supporters keeping the spirits high as we completed the 555-mile journey from the Principality Stadium in Cardiff to the Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh delivering the match ball was phenomenal.

"I have met some incredible individuals and feel honoured to have carried out the ride alongside them."


Denbighshire Free Press: Rob Boyns meets the Princess RoyalRob Boyns meets the Princess Royal (Image: Submitted)


Denbighshire Free Press: The cyclists set off from CardiffThe cyclists set off from Cardiff (Image: Submitted)


The Princess Royal greeted the cyclists on their arrival and then handed the match ball over to the respective team captains.

"There were some amazing and challenging moments and to be in dark places with Lions literally in a group in the middle of the night battling against the elements and learning how they deal with adversity was surreal," added Rob.

"When we approached Wrexham AFC for our first breakfast stop after 24 hours on the pedals and the closer we got, the more I became emotional.

"When I got sight of my wife Elain, Gwenllian Boyns and the boys Owen and Nedw and then got to hold my grandchild Soffia, I crumpled and had to have a cwtsh.

"The emotion was too much for me."


Denbighshire Free Press: Team Gog5 at the eventTeam Gog5 at the event (Image: Submitted)


Team Gog5, primarily made up of members from Ruthin and Caernarfon rugby clubs, also took part.

They were captained by Dr Matt Davies and they were joined by ex-Wales and Lions star John Devereux, TV and radio presenter Tudur Owen and Owain Tudur Jones, the former Wales football international.

Among the other famous individuals taking part was an Olympic legend.

Rob added: "I cycled with Chris Hoy, who guested with us and was really interesting and we had a mutual friend in Doug Dailey, who he praised as a mentor in his early years."

For further information, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/doddiegog5