A group of cycling activists have successfully completed a gruelling challenge which saw them ride the distance and elevation of the Tour de France in just one week.
The InternationElles, a group of amateur female cyclists from around the globe, gather annually to protest by riding the Tour de France route one day ahead of their male counterparts.
The endurance test saw the 10 riders – who are spread across the UK, Netherlands, USA and Australia – first complete a four-day, non-stop team relay of 3,484km on static bikes.
The five UK-based riders then took on the infamous ‘Everesting’ challenge, which saw them climb the full 8,848 metres of Mount Everest in just 18 hours on September 4.
The cumulative figures represent the total distance and elevation that the professional peloton will cover over 21 stages at this year’s Tour de France.
The ascent of the Bwlch, Rhondda Valley’s second-category climb, represents 339m of elevation at an average gradient of 5%. Each cyclist climbed it a staggering 27 times.
Lucy, 45, who works as a business opportunity manager at Shell, said: “I wasn’t really worried about the relay part but it was actually pretty tough.
“We were doing two and a half hours each a day on a turbo trainer at quite high intensity so my legs felt tired.
“We were trying to get the distance done as quickly as possible because we wanted to rest as much as we could before the ‘Everesting’.
“We started riding at 4am and rode non-stop, apart from toilet breaks and food breaks, until 10pm at night.
“The first few laps passed very quickly but getting to halfway was quite tough and it didn’t feel like it was going any quicker.”
Only 446 female riders from around the world have successfully completed the incredible feat of stamina and perseverance.
Lucy added: “All five of us finished within half an hour of each other which is great.
“It was one of the toughest things I have ever done, but an incredible experience.
“We are all now part of the ‘Everesting’ hall of fame which is great because not many women have managed to do it.
“We had champagne at the top of the mountain and I went to McDonald’s afterwards.”
The InternationElles are looking to galvanise the global cycling community in support of their cause and have created the opportunity for everyone to join in and show support by visiting www.skoda.co.uk/thisisourtime