Briton finishes fastest cycle around world

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The Independent Online

A British man today completed his record-breaking challenge to become the fastest person to cycle around the world.

Mark Beaumont, 25, has circumnavigated the globe by bike in 195 days and six hours - smashing the current record of 276 days.

He was reunited with his family today when he crossed the finish line at 2.30pm British time at the Arc the Triomphe in Paris - the city where he started his epic bid nearly seven months ago.

Guinness World Records said Mr Beaumont's record still had to be officially verified.

He has received messages of congratulation from Prince William and Olympic cyclist Chris Hoy.

Mr Beaumont, an economics and politics graduate from Newburgh in Fife said: "I'm delighted, although I think it will take a while for it to sink in.

"It's great to see my friends and family and now I'm looking forward to getting some sleep.

"The challenge was one of those things which was out there to be done.

"I love the idea of being the first and the fastest and I felt I was capable of beating the record."

Mr Beaumont has cycled 18,000 miles, a feat which has raised thousands of pounds for charity and should ensure his name enters the record books.

During the mammoth solo journey he passed through 20 countries on a route which included Pakistan, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

His bid to circumnavigate the globe has been dramatic at times - he endured floods, road rage and was knocked off his bike in the American state Louisiana by an elderly motorist who drove through a red light.

Mr Beaumont also had his wallet and camera stolen from a hostel after a fight broke out.

He was met today by his mother Una, father Kevin and sisters, Heather and Hannah.

Hannah had travelled from Shanghai to surprise her brother.

Mrs Beaumont said: "I am very proud of him.

"With Mark, the passion is being the first and the fastest.

"It's about pushing himself to the limit."