A self-employed gardener pedalled his way to a place on the podium in the European Penny Farthing Championships.

Steve George, of Burnham, was narrowly beaten on the last bend as he competed on his 56 inch bike in Middelkerke, Belgium, where people lined the streets to cheer on the 79 cyclists.

Mr George, who came second, drove to Belgium with his Victa strapped to the back of his car and is no stranger to penny racing, being a champion on home turf for the last five years.

The 57-year-old has long had a love of old bikes and bought his first penny in 1992.

He is a familiar sight for residents of the Dengie as he rides head and shoulders above the hedgerows.