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Cyclist starts Africa challenge

Record-breaking cyclist Mark Beaumont is setting off on a new challenge as he attempts to become the fastest rider to complete a 7,000 mile journey across Africa.

The 32-year-old hopes to bike from Cairo to Cape Town in less than the record of 70 days.

It would be a hat-trick for the Scotsman who is already the fastest person to cycle around the world and across the Americas.

His latest feat will see him attempt 150 miles a day for 50 days through countries including Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya.

The cyclist will be raising money for Orkidstudio, a Glasgow humanitarian design group which works on construction projects to benefit communities across the world.

People will be able to follow his Africa Solo adventure via social media and a live tracker on his website.

Beaumont told followers earlier this week: "You will all be relived to hear that the bike has safely survived the plane!! It was a concern...just built it up in my Cairo hotel room, with the constant din of car horns and traffic on the street."

The Perthshire-based cyclist smashed the world record for riding solo around the world seven years ago, which saw him cycle 18,000 miles from through Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and America in 195 days.

He also set a new cycling world record for riding the length of the Americas - from Anchorage in Alaska to Tierra del Fuego in southern Argentina.

The Africa trip follows seven months training with the Scottish Cycling squad in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow.

He said he is feeling "a mad mix of excitement and wonder" as he embarks on the endurance ride through tough and often potentially dangerous territory.

Beaumont recorded his adventures in a number of BBC documentaries and presented the build-up to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games as the Queen's Baton relay made its way around 70 nations and territories.

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