Countess of Wessex to cycle 445 miles for charity

Britain’s Countess of Wessex will cycle 445 miles to mark the 60th anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
The 51-year-old royal – who is also known as Sophie – is planning to ride from Palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh to Buckingham Palace in London over seven days in September as part of the Diamond Challenge.
Writing on the British Monarchy’s website, the blonde beauty said: “Some months ago I was asked by the Award (DofE) to take up a challenge in celebration of this incredible milestone. The funds being raised by me as well as many others all over the country will give thousands more young people in the UK the opportunity to experience the life changing opportunities the Award offers.”
Sophie – who has two children Louise, 12, and James, eight, with her husband Prince Edward – chose to take on the mammoth challenge because she wanted to do something away from her comfort zone.
She explained: “It had to be something outside my comfort zone that was challenging enough to require a high level of personal commitment. Cycling is something I only tend to do with my children and never for more than the odd hour.”
The countess has only recently started her training but is already having a few issues adjusting to the exercise.
She added: “I am now training hard and trying to get to grips with the kit, the fitness level, the seat, the aching shoulders, wrists and backside, the terrifying roads, the hills and worst of all the cleats! Yes I have fallen off several times, but the bruises are fading and each time out gets a little better.”