Countess of Wessex ready for Edinburgh to London cycle

The Countess of Wessex in training

The Countess of Wessex in training

The Countess of Wessex has pedalled almost 3000 miles training for an epic charity bike ride - even cycling at Balmoral.

Sophie has described how the prospect of riding a bike 445-miles from the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh to Buckingham Palace daunted her at first.

But her dedication has meant training sessions on her static bike have even been staged at Balmoral, during a stay at the Queen’s private Scottish home.

The Countess looked every inch the committed cyclist when photographed during one of her final training sessions last Thursday, as she cycled round the country lanes and villages of Hampshire.

Rachel McKenzie, a physical training instructor at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, has been putting the royal through her paces and will be joining her on the trip.

Sophie has covered 2978 miles cycling on the road and the static bike since she began training in February, spending 175 hours in the saddle.

Her journey is being staged in celebration of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) scheme’s 60th anniversary which falls this year. The Duke of Edinburgh and the Earl of Wessex will wave Sophie off when her journey begins today.