A GROUP of four women are taking on the cycle challenge of a lifetime in memory of two close friends.

Carmel Carrick, from Zetland Wines in Northallerton is set to cycle from Saigon in Vietnam to Angkor in Cambodia in November, along with Deborah Horton, Christine Robinson and Fiona Curry.

The group leave England on November 8 and will start their gruelling challenge on November 11.

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They are raising money for the new Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Cancer Care Centre in Northallerton in honour of their friends Carol Stead and Bob King, who passed away this year.

They expect to battle heat and humidity as they cycle 450km past plantations, waterways and valleys into the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, to the ancient sights of Cambodia.

The group have covered the cost of their travel so all the money raised will go towards the new cancer care centre.

The £10m centre will open in the grounds of the Friarage Hospital in summer next year, providing state-of-the-art services under one roof.

A donation will also go to The Christie Hospital in Manchester for the care given to Carol, who had been friends with Carmel since they were both teenagers.

On Facebook, Carmel wrote: “A charity extremely close to our hearts, for our community. Everyone needs to help to try to conquer this terrible disease.”

To donate, visit; justgiving.com/fundraising/carmel-carrick3 or text VIET67 to 70070 with the amount you would like to donate.