Former Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas to cycle 500 miles for charity

Former Welsh rugby star Gareth Thomas is to cycle 500 miles to raise money for Sport Relief.

Thomas revealed he was HIV positive in September and has since been widely praised for his courage in reducing the stigma surrounding the virus.

The 45-year-old will pedal from Cardiff to Aberdeen in a week with the Sports Personality of the Year trophy and will deliver the award on stage next Sunday.

Named the Tour de Trophy, the challenge will see Thomas switch from a traditional bike to a four-person pedal bike where he will be joined by celebrities from the world of sport and entertainment.

Thomas has previously told how the Duke of Sussex offered support to him and his family after he publicly revealed he was HIV positive.

The pair has since collaborated on a new film released by the Terrence Higgins Trust to mark national HIV Testing Week.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror about Harry joining him for part of the ride, Tomas said: “It’d be absolutely amazing if he would, but I am not sure if he is crazy enough to come out in December. Not to mention the route doesn’t go past Buckingham Palace.”

Thomas was hailed a “legend” for his “courageous” admission and praised by politicians such as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

The ex-fullback, who came out as gay in 2009, is thought to be the first UK sportsman to go public about living with HIV.

In a video posted on Twitter, he said: “I am living with HIV.

“Now you have that information that makes me extremely vulnerable, but it does not make me weak.

“Even though I have been forced to tell you this, I choose to fight, to educate and break the stigma around this subject.”