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Cyclist Sean Conway sets new world speed record across Europe

Written by Fiona

May 11 2018

Amazing adventurer Sean Conway has set a new world record for the fastest unsupported crossing of Europe by bike. He cycled nine countries and 3,980 miles in 24 days, 18 hours and 39 minutes.


Recently described by Radio 2 as Britain’s favourite lunatic, endurance athlete Sean broke the world record by nine hours.

This morning, just two hours from the finish line, Sean said: “After six years, three failed attempts and 60,000 miles, I have finally achieved a cycling world record.”

He started at Cabo da Roca on the west coast of Portugal and finished in Ufa in Russia.

Sean takes the title from Jonas Deichmann who cycled 6,450km in 25 days, 3 hours and 38 minutes in July last year. At the time, this was five days faster than the Guinness World Record holder, James McLaren who cycled from Ufa to Cabo da Roca in 29 days, 18 hours and 25 minutes.

Second time lucky for Sean

This is Sean’s second attempt at the world record. In August 2017 Sean was making exceptional progress covering 800 miles in four days when he sustained an injury forcing him to withdraw. This time around, passing through the point in the Pyrenees where he withdrew last year was his highest moment emotionally.

Speaking about the world record attempt before setting off, Sean said: “It was a big decision to come back and give this record another go. I think too often people feel that if they don’t succeed with something then they have to give up.

“We are so used to hearing about success stories, but what is often missed off is how many attempts they took to get there in the first place.

“I admit, I got things wrong on my last attempt of this record. My self-esteem was really low at the end of last summer when I had to withdraw from my last attempt but I picked myself up and thought long and hard about whether I should give this another go – and what if I didn’t succeed again?

“Life is not all about winning and breaking records, it’s about giving things the very best shot that you can and being confident that you could not have done any more.

“That said, I’m determined to break this World Record and I’ve been putting in a lot of work to help me achieve my goal.”

Sean’s record breaking ride

Over the past 24 days, Sean has cycled across Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine and Russia.

Travelling unsupported at all times, he cycled for 16 hours a day, slept rough on 19 occasions and showered just four times.

Madness may have set in early on when in Portugal he picked up a hitchhiker he named Pedro. The animal skull travelled with him all the way to the finish line.

This was arguably an odd decision when he travelled without a tent and cut off the end of his toothbrush just to save weight.

Sean’s record attempt has been supported by Yellow Jersey, who for the past 24 days have hosted his live GPS tracker.

He broke the world record riding a Stanforth Conway bike which he recently launched alongside UK based bike manufacturer Stanforth Bikes. The bike is designed for speedy touring and is hand built in the UK using Reynolds 853 steel.

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