A British cyclist has broken the world record for cycling around the world in 79 days – 44 days shorter than the previous record.
Mark Beaumont, 34, arrived at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris one day ahead of schedule after cycling 18,000 miles and an average of 240 miles per day.
The cyclist from Perthshire set a new world record in 2008 at 194 days, and it has been consistently broken over the years, with a previous record set at 123 days.
Mr Beaumont’s schedule was gruelling, as Mr Beaumont slept five hours a night and was on his bike for over 16 hours per day.
Twenty-two years after he pedalled across Scotland in one day, he set off on 2 July from Paris and cycled through Europe, Russia, Mongolia and China, before reaching Australia and New Zealand. He returned through North American before “sprinting” through Portugal, Spain and France.
He said he was inspired by Jules Verne’s adventure novel Around The World In Eighty Days.
Rising at 4am every morning, he focused in terms of four-hour block, eating 9,000 calories a day and not thinking about the “magnitude of the world” ahead of him.
The cyclist, who lives in Edinburgh, told the BBC he had had an “incredible experience” and he had “redefined the limits of endurance sport”.
“This has been, without doubt, the most punishing challenge I have ever put my body and mind through,” he said.
“The physical and mental stamina required for each day was a challenge in itself, but I had an amazing support team around me.”
After he had completed his final 240-mile leg, he wrote on Facebook: “Officially made it around the world in 78 days, 14 hours and 40 minutes with two Guinness World Records. Thank you to the amazing support teams and support from the followers throughout the journey. We've done it!!”
His team included a mechanic, nutritionist, manager and physiotherapist.
Mr Beaumont described the terrain in Russia and Mongolia as “unknown territory”. He had two falls, one of them in Russia on day nine, and he needed emergency dental treatment.
He also had to cycle in sub-zero temperatures, and through smog and forest fires in North America.
His trip was to raise money for Orkidstudio, which aims to benefit communities around the world by providing innovative infrastructure.
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