THREE Wiltshire cyclists each burnt more than 9,500 calories as they completed one of the toughest challenges of their lives in searing heat today.

Billy Dyer, 50, from Devizes; Simon Waldron, 43, from Poulshot, and Jay Hookins, 38, from Trowbridge, rode up and down the Westbury White Horse hill from Bratton 77 times to raise more than £2,300 for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

Their epic ride today - commonly known as Everesting - more than completed the equivalent of climbing the world’s highest mountain on the Nepal-China border.

At 29,029ft, the trio needed to ride ‎8,848 metres to equal the height of the Himalayan mountain.

In the event, they rode 29,537ft, or 9,002 metres as they completed the challenge in 17 hours and 56 minutes, including stops.

Mr Dyer, who works for DS Smith Packaging, is a former Great Britain triathlete and an ironman competitor.

He said: "We started together and we finished together. There were moments when we all had dark times but we managed to help each other through."

‎Mr Waldron, a herdsman, said: "Initially, we were going to start at 3am but when we saw the weather forecast, we decided to start at midnight.

“We finished just before 6pm. It was very tough and the hardest thing I have ever done."

Mr Hookins, who works at Longleat Center Parc, said: "I'm absolutely knackered. It's the most difficult thing that I have ever done."

The three needed to complete 76 ascents and descents of the White Horse hill in order to equal the height of Everest.

Mr Dyer added: "We did 77 ascents and descents. There wasn't any point in doing more because the heat was so unbearable."

"We were riding in 35 degree heat from 10am onwards and Simon was suffering quite badly towards the end.

"We just did one more ascent and descent to make sure we had done the elevation."

The three all ride out with the Devizes-based VC Cycling Club on Saturday mornings, while Mr Dyer and Mr Hookins take part in time trials, triathlons and ironman competitions.

They have all trained regularly for the Everesting attempt by doing 100m rides and hill climbs at weekends.

Mr Dyer thanked around 50 friends and relatives who turned out to support them, particularly David Duxberry, who stayed all day.

The three also received food and drink donations from Tesco in Westbury, a finishing ribbon provided by Simply Flowers in Calne, and transport supplied by Prolight Design in Devizes.

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