A team of celebrity cyclists – Fearne Cotton, Miranda Hart, Russell Howard, Patrick Kielty, Davina McCall, David Walliams and Jimmy Carr – successfully completed their BT Sport Relief Million Pound Bike Ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End at 6.50pm on Thursday evening.
In doing so, they raised over £1 million for Sport Relief, a UK charity dedicated to helping poor and vulnerable people around the world.
The team cycled relay-style over 1000 miles in four days, encountering brutal weather conditions: snowstorms and temperatures as low as -15°C. They also suffered falls, cuts, bruises and the real enemy of the long distance cyclist, saddle sores.
On crossing the finish line in Land’s End, David Walliams said: “It has been an amazing challenge, so much harder and more gruelling than any of us thought it would be. To have raised a million pounds in four days is a fantastic thing – thanks so much for everyone who sponsored us, it kept us going.”
The team’s trainer, former Olympian Professor Greg Whyte, described the conditions last Monday night during day one of the challenge: “Riding in that kind of temperature at night poses serious risks – it’s potentially deadly. No one would have batted an eyelid if they’d have said, let’s call this off. But they didn’t and I’m amazed at how absolutely no one wants to let the team down.”
On day one Miranda Hart crashed, cutting her leg, later suffering from severe sickness and exhaustion. On day two, David Walliams fell while climbing the steep Kirkstone Pass in the Lake District. Day three saw the long miles take their toll on the mostly inexperienced cyclists. Strained muscles and bruised limbs were the norm.
Over the final 24 hours, the riders struggled against their increasing fatigue and the bitterly cold night time temperatures to successfully reach Land’s End.
Although they have reached their £1m target, the cyclists are asking the public to keep giving to help them raise even more. To sponsor them, go to www.sportrelief.com.