- 9 countries, 3,980 miles, 24 days, 18 hours and 39 minutes –
Recently described by Radio 2 as Britain’s favourite lunatic, endurance athlete Sean Conway has set a new world record for the fastest, unsupported crossing of Europe by bicycle. Sean has broken the world record by 9 hours after cycling 3,980 miles (6,405 kilometres) in 24 days, 18 hours and 39 minutes. Sean cycled across Europe starting from Cabo da Roca on the west coast of Portugal and finished in Ufa in Russia. Sean arrived in Ufa at 15.40 local time.
Sean takes the title from Jonas Deichmann who cycled 6,450km 25 days, 3 hours and 38 minutes in July last year. At the time, this was 5 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.
This is Sean’s second attempt at the world record. In August 2017 Sean was making exceptional progress covering 800 miles in 4 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 commented:
“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, 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 – 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 be 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.”
Over the past 24 days, Sean has cycled across nine countries (Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine and Russia). Travelling unsupported at all times, Sean has cycled for 16 hours a day, slept rough on 19 occasions and showered just 4 times. Madness may have set in when in Portugal, he picked up a hitchhiker he named Pedro. The animal skull travelled with him all the way to the finish line. Arguably an odd decision when he travelled without a tent and cut off the end of his toothbrush just to save weight.
Speaking to Sean this morning, just 2 hours from the finish line, Sean said, “After 6 years, 3 failed attempts and 60,000 miles, I have finally achieved a cycling world record!”
Sean’s record attempt has been supported by Yellow Jersey, who for the past 24 days have hosted his live GPS Tracker