A 17-year-old from Gloucester has set himself the aim of becoming the youngest Briton ever to undertake the Race Across America.
Matthew Stevens plans to compete in the 2012 staging of the ten-day race, by which time he will be 19 years of age. He believes that the youngest British rider to have completed the RAAM on a solo basis did so at 21 years of age.
Matthew, who lives in Abbeydale, told the website This Is Somerset that he is already in training for the race, which if he qualifies would see him spend up to 22 hours a day in the saddle on the journey from California to Maryland.
He added: “If I do it I'll be absolutely ecstatic."
The teenager, who is looking for a sponsor able to equip with a suitable bike, plans to raise money on the ride for the charities Help for Heroes and the Children’s Hospice Association, Scotland, and further information bout his plans can be found on his website.
Like the proverbial policeman, it does seem like long-distance cyclists are getting younger and younger. Last year, 16-year-old David Clark from County Durham revealed he plans to set a new world record for the quickest circumnavigation of the globe by bicycle – although he’ll have to wait until he turns 18 to embark on his attempt.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.