Unspecified safety issues force former Olympic champ and pilot Jerone Walters to stop riding

Olympic champion rower James Cracknell and time trial specialist Jerone Walters have failed in their attempt to set a new record for a men’s tandem ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

The pair were forced to stop riding just before 1.30 this morning with just 68.3 miles of the 842-mile journey left. At that point, they had ridden for 46 hours 26 minutes 16 seconds at an average speed of 16.7 miles per hour.

That suggests that it was going to be a very close run thing as they tried to beat the existing record of 54 hours 14 minutes 25 seconds, which has stood for 46 years, with the pair needing to ride the final 4 hours or so at a speed of just over 17 miles a hour.

However, a message on their page on the website Map My Tracks said: “We are very sorry to report we have had to abandon the LEJOG record attempt. Safety is our priority and we simply can’t continue.”

There is no news yet as to what it was that specifically forced the abandonment o the record attempt, named Rocket 2 team after the Terry Dolan-designed bike that Cracknell and Walters were riding, although their support crew tweeted that “James & Jerone are ok.”

It’s the second time that Cracknell, who suffered serious head injuries when he was hit by a truck while cycling in Arizona last year, has had to abandon a LEJOG record attempt.

In October 2009 he and Rebecca Romero were forced to stop riding when on course to beat the record after the women’s individual pursuit Olympic champion suffered swelling around the knee.

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.