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British contender now 200 miles ahead of Godwin's pace...

After just 12 days of his attempt to beat Tommy Godwin's record for the most distance ridden in a year, Steve Abraham is 204.4 miles ahead of Godwin's 1939 schedule.

Since setting off on on January 1, Abraham has covered 2,198.4 miles, yesterday pounding out 182.4 miles from Milton Keynes to Fleet Hargate in Lincolnshire and back.

By January 12 1939, Tommy Godwin had ridden 1,994 miles, leading some of Abraham's followers on Strava to joke that he can now afford to take a day off.

His relentless pace has also inspired Chuck Norris-style jokes. Abraham doesn't have a resting heart rate, said one of his support team, because he's always riding his bike. When Steve rides, he stays still and the earth rotates, said another follower.

Two other riders are also having a crack at the Year Record under auspices of the UltraMarathon Cycling Association (UMCA). William 'IronOx' Pruett started on January 4 and is currently doing multiple short rides each day, with a plan of piling on the milage later in the year. With a total of 315 miles so far, he's not putting any pressure on Abraham yet.

The third contender for the record, Kurt 'Tarzan' Searvogel kicked off his attempt with a storming first day on January 10, clocking up 231 miles. After three days, his tally stands at 603 miles, well ahead of his plan to cover about 170 miles per day at the start of the record. As Field Marshall Helmuth Von Moltke said, no battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.

In 1939, Godwin also got off to a flying start with an opening day ride of 234 miles and a total of 623 miles in his first three days. By the end of January he had clocked up 4,773 miles, for a daily average of 154 miles.

If they carry on at their current rate, both Abraham and Searvogel should be well on track to break Godwin's record by the end of their first month.

Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.