And they're off! Cracknell and Romero's record chasing End to End race has started

Two olympic medallists, one bike, no sleep and the length of Britain to cycle. Can Romero and Crackers crack the End to End record?

A four o'clock this morning James Cracknell and Rebecca Romero set off on a world record attempt to cycle non-stop from Land’s End to John O’Groats on a mixed tandem bicycle.

The pair have been posting regular Twitter updates on their progress via their on-the-road support team, which you'll find on twitter.com/cyclingplus. The latest 'Tweet' came at the pair's first five minute stop, after two hours of riding: "first five min stop of the day and riders looking good and well on schedule".

Double Olympic gold medallist Cracknell and Olympic cycling gold medallist Romero are pedalling the 874 mile distance in an attempt to break the current mixed sex tandem record of 2 days, 3 hours, 19 minutes and 23 seconds.

The record is currently held by Mr Wilkinson and Miss Taylor and was set in 2000. Cracknell and Romero’s attempt has been approved by the Road Records Association, which will authenticate the results.

This world record attempt marks the launch of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain - an exciting new mass participation cycling event taking place in June 2010. Launched by Threshold Sports and James Cracknell, this event will give cyclists the opportunity to challenge themselves to ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End as solo riders or part of a relay team and will raise money for ParalympicsGB, Deloitte’s chosen benefitting charity.

The pair will be using a tandem bike, which has been handmade especially for the duo by Dolan Bikes. Throughout their challenge James and Rebecca will be supported by a team including a nutritionist, physiotherapist, health and safety experts and bicycle mechanics.

James Cracknell said: “I am always looking for new challenges and the current record is extremely competitive. This is set to be both mentally and physically very tough but to break the world record will be a huge achievement - and the perfect way to mark the launch of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain.”

Rebecca Romero said: “There’s no denying this is going to be hard, especially trying to combat sleep deprivation as we cycle non-stop throughout the night, but I am really looking forward to the challenge. It would be great to break this record and will be a huge accomplishment for me if we manage to do so.”

We'll keep you posted with the pair's progress both here and on our Twitter page - http://twitter.com/cyclingplus

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