PEDAL power saw five sixthform students and their teacher cycle part of the Tour de France for charity.

The St Thomas More High School pupils and head of English Dan Jenkins cycled stage four of the famous race and raised more than £5,700 for the department of gastroenterology at Southend Hospital. Tom Barningham, Mark Barningham, Tom Sammut, James Maloney and Declan Fitchew rode 193km from Villers Cotterets to Joigny, just a couple of hours ahead of the professionals.

The cheque was handed over to nurse practitioner Della Hughes and consultant gastroenterologist Dr Joe O'Brien.Dr O'Brien said: "We are impressed by the boys' ability to cycle a stage of the Tour de France. This was a brilliant effort which is very much appreciated."

English teacher Louise Ford said: "As a school we are very proud to have raised more than £5,000 for the second year running for our local hospital.

"I have suffered with Crohn's disease for the past seven years and cannot fault the care, support and medical help provided by Della Hughes and Dr O'Brien at Southend's endoscopy unit."

Richardson's Cycles in Leigh supplied the team's yellow jerseys.