Sport Relief riders have mountain to climb2nd March 2010
The six celebrity cyclists aiming to bike the length of the country for Sport Relief have set off - and they face climbing the equivalent of Mount Everest on the first day of the challenge.
As they set off from John O Groats this morning Fearne Cotton, Miranda Hart, Russell Howard, Patrick Kielty, Davina McCall, and David Walliams prepared themselves for an overall hill ascent of almost 29,000ft in the first 24 hours of the ride as they battle through Scotland's punishing terrain and icy weather.
Working in relay the team will aim to make it to Lands End by Thursday, raising a million pounds for Sport Relief in the process.
Beginning a year to the day that Gary Barlow's celebrity team scaled Mount Kilimanjaro, the 1000 mile route will test the team to the limit, with the night sections promising to be particularly testing.
Before setting off David Walliams, who swam the English Channel for Sport Relief four years ago said: "Water is one thing, but I'm not built for a bike. "I'm not sure what I've let myself in for!"
TV and Radio presenter Fearne Cotton, who also took part in the Kilimanjaro climb, said she was amazed by just how many feet the team would have to climb. "When I was told that we would be climbing the equivalent of Mt Everest on the first day alone I thought it was a joke. "But when you look at the route its true - there's almost 29,000ft for us to pedal up on the Scottish leg of the trip. And a lot of that is in the dark!"