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Brit becomes first to cycle to South Pole in 10 days

Maria Leijerstam cycled 500 miles in 10 days Credit: White Ice Cycle/PA Wire

A British adventurer has becoming the first person in the world to cycle to the South Pole from the edge of Antarctica in just 10 days.

Maria Leijerstam, from the Vale of Glamorgan, managed the feat this morning following a gruelling 500 mile ride in "vicious" conditions as she competed against two other male riders.

Her team said at one point the sweat on the inside of her boots froze.

The former management consultant's mother said her daughter's success was due to "meticulous planning, super fitness and pure determination".

Prince Harry to attend launch of South Pole race

Prince Harry missed out on a bid to conquer Mount Everest with the group last year because of military commitments. Credit: John Stillwell/PA Archive

Prince Harry will today attend the launch of an expedition which is set to see him and three teams of wounded soldiers race to the South Pole later this year.

Harry, who is patron of the Walking With The Wounded's Antarctica project, will meet representatives from the armed forces charity in London.

The prince took part in the charity's trek to the North Pole in 2011 and announced while serving in Afghanistan earlier this year that he hoped to join injured soldiers from the United Kingdom, United States and the Commonwealth for the latest expedition.

Prince Harry missed a bid to conquer Mount Everest with the group last year and withdrew early from a successful North Pole expedition to attend his brother William's wedding.

But the 28-year-old vowed that as long as he is fit enough, he will head south for the race, which starts in November.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes eyes new polar challenge

Sir Ranulph Fiennes has already visited the North and South Pole but now he plans to go one step further, by being the first person to reach the South Pole during Winter.

At the age of 68 he will have to walk across the whole of the antarctic in round the clock darkness and temperatures of -70 centigrade.

Our Science Editor, Lawrence McGinty reports on the explorer, hoping for another entry in the history books.