GUTSY teenager Alex Staniforth pedalled out of Chester's Town Hall Square yesterday as he embarks on a 900-mile bike ride to the French Alps.
Well-wishers and civic leaders gathered to cheer him off on his journey, which marks the third of a seven-event series he is undertaking to get in shape for an expedition up Mount Everest next May.
The ride to the resort of Chamonix is expected to take the 19-year-old seven days.
Alex, who has overcome bullies, epilepsy, depression and a speech impediment, has the backing of some of the world's greatest adventurers including Sir Chris Bonington, Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Bear Grylls.
He launched his EPIC7 challenge after being forced to cancel an attempt to climb Everest in April this year when a huge avalanche on Everest killed 16 Nepalese Sherpa guides.
Alex said: “These seven challenges with a twist will push my comfort zones whilst providing excellent conditioning, helping me to fundraise more and hopefully inspire young people to turn obstacles into opportunities regardless of their background. I’m excited to see it unfold.”