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City prof gives top celebs pedal power; JMU expert is training A-listers for Sports Relief.

Byline: LAURA SHARPE

A MERSEYSIDE professor who led a team of celebrities to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro is now facing an even bigger challenge - all to raise money for charity.

Sports professor Greg Whyte, from John Moores University, is training A-listers including David Walliams, Davina McCall, Fearne Cotton and Jimmy Carr to cycle 1,000 miles across the country for this year's Sport Relief.

But his mission doesn't stop there, with Greg, a former Olympic pentathlete himself, also training Christine Bleakley to water-ski across the English Channel.

Greg "The Trainer" who has been putting the celebrities through gruelling physical and mental training said: "This is an absolutely massive challenge, not least because they only have five weeks to train. There are seven celebs doing the cycling with varying physical abilities. My job is to teach them the skills of bike technique and physical fitness. This challenge is 1,000 miles in March in tough weather conditions and tough terrain.

"The cumulative climb in height is four times higher than Kilimanjaro so it's not an easy challenge."

Greg has been teaching the stars how to stay on their bikes and build up strength in their arms and legs.

Last year Greg helped a group of celebs including Cheryl Cole, Gary Barlow and Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles to reach the top of Mount Kilimanjaro raising over pounds 3m.

Greg added: "David and Davina are the fittest and are completive driven, I almost have to stop them over-doing the training.

"Jimmy Carr on the other hand has publicly said he's not going to do any training at all so he's really going to suffer, my training with him is just to make sure he's safe on a bike."

. You can sponsor the team at www.sportrelief.com SPORT RELIEF CHALLENGES TO RAISE CASH THIS years Sport Relief runs from March 19-21 with five celebrity challenges and a charity mile.

David Walliams and his team of celebrities are planning to cycle 1,000 miles from John O'Groats to Lands End in a non-stop, four day, relay. Their aim is to raise pounds 1m.

Christine Bleakley is attempting to water-ski despite the fact she's never water-skied before.

Blue Peter's Helen Skelton is attempting to become the first woman ever to solo kayak the 2,010 mile Amazon River.

While Lawrence Dallaglio is cycling with friends round the Six Nations stadia cycling from Rome to Paris, London, Cardiff, Dublin and finally Edinburgh. And Eddie Izzard ran 43 marathons in only 51 days. Everyone is being invited to run or walk a mile at events across the country during March and raise money to change lives in the UK and abroad.

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PEDAL POWER: Greg Whyte with Fearne Cotton helping her train for Sport Relief and, below, on his bike (centre) with Fearne and David Walliams
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 12, 2010
Words:472
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