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New world record for cycling across Europe!

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New world record for cycling across Europe!

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September 10th, 2014

Ride25 would like to say a HUGE congratulations to James Bowtell and his Velo7 team who have smashed the Guinness World Record for crossing Europe by bike in just 37 days (beating the previous world record by a massive 7 days).

Ride25 were proud to offer support to James and his team prior to their challenge, by providing advice and help on the trip plus useful introductions and connections to help their adventure run more smoothly.  We are extremely pleased for them at achieving such an incredible feat.  Read all about their story here….

At 20:15 on the 1st of September 2014, James Bowtell arrived at the lighthouse in Cabo Da Roca, Portugal to become the fastest man to cross Europe by bike. Starting in Ufa, Russia on 27th July 2014, he has cycled between what are the commonly regarded most easterly and westerly points of Europe. Guinness World Records had set the target at 45 days to cover the 3,914 miles. Despite encountering a number of challenges, the team made good progress through seven European countries, covering the distance in 37 days.
The Guinness World Record – ‘Race Across Europe by Bike’ – had never been attempted before due to the logistical complexity of the challenge and the extensive mileage involved. Before departing from the UK, James was told by a representative of the Russian Cycle Touring Club that the event would not be possible. The route crossed seven European countries – Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, France, Spain and Portugal.
Whilst James was the only cyclist, he had built a strong support team consisting of fellow university undergraduates and graduates to assist in the pursuit of this unique world record. The team operates under the name ‘Velo7’, reflecting the European term for the bicycle – ‘Velo’ – and the number of countries the race passed through. Furthermore, the literal translation from the original Latin means ‘swift’ or ‘rapid’.
Commenting on the challenge, James said: ‘It’s been exhilarating, exhausting yet one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I can safely say it was worth the severe fatigue, my knee injuries and the hellish conditions to cross the finish line with my team, in the knowledge that we have set a world record and raised funds for our chosen charity Cyclists Fighting Cancer’.
During the challenge, the team had to overcome some testing obstacles in order to finish within the record time. In Russia, James developed Patella Tendinitis in his right knee, aggravated by the appalling condition of some of the roads. As a result of the accumulative mileage and the inclines of The Pyrenees, James then suffered from ligament damage, an injury that could have brought the race to a halt and one that limited his ability to pedal with his left leg.
The team secured significant corporate support for the event, particularly from the main sponsors Halfords, Peugeot and Unilever. Halfords provided the Boardman Pro Carbon SLR, which has won Cycling Plus’s Bike of the Year ‘Best Value Award 2014’ with excellent reviews on its performance. Peugeot donated the use of a brand new Peugeot Boxer Van, whilst Unilever offered some financial support.
Velo7 are working closely with Cyclists Fighting Cancer to ensure the event gains as much fundraising exposure as it can. Velo7 is proud to represent a charity that enables children and young people living with cancer across the UK to regain their physical fitness, strength and confidence by giving them new bikes, adapted trikes, tandems, other equipment and support. It has been shown in numerous studies that exercise is an extremely effective way of improving both physical and mental wellbeing for cancer survivors. At the time of crossing the finish line the total amount raised was over £16,000, however the Velo7 team expect this to increase over the coming months with a number of fundraising initiatives planned.
Besides setting a Guinness World Record and raising money for charity, the Velo7 team set out to demonstrate that there are a number of different challenges, which students, who may not yet have secured full time work having left university, can pursue. These challenges can provide experiences that are at least as beneficial and rewarding as full time employment.


One Response to “New world record for cycling across Europe!”

  1. Tom Nelson Says:

    I thought the Guinness World Record across Europe was set by Paul Spencer from the northern tip of Norway to the southern tip of Spain – 22days, 11hrs.

    Has this record replaced that?

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