Dominic Irvine and Charlie Mitchell knock five hours off record that has stood since 1966

Dominic Irvine and Charlie Mitchell have smashed one of Britain's longest-lasting cycling records, riding tandem from Land's End to John O'Groats in 45 hours and 11 minutes and 2 seconds. That time is subject to ratification, but beats the previous record by more than five hours.

After setting off from Cornwall at 6.30am on Tuesday the pair rode 842 miles from the southwestern tip of England to the most northeasternly point of Scotland.

They arrived there shortly before 4am this morning, having averaged 18.63mph on their non-stop ride, almost 2mph faster than the previous record.

In a statement this morning, Dominic Irvine said: "The last couple of days have been an amazing blend of euphoria, fatigue, camaraderie, along with an enormous sense of achievement.

"We’ve been working towards this for years and it’s been a privilege to be part of such an incredible team of people. Charlie and I were the ones riding the bike, but it really was a team effort and a huge amount of work from everyone has gone into making this record attempt a success.

"We are extremely grateful to Dr Simon Jobson at Winchester University who developed our training plan, the guys at Orbit Tandems who specially designed our amazing bike, our nutritionist and all the medics, route-planners and support crew who have given up their time to support us, proof that success is a team game."

Nigel Harrison, a member of Irvine and Mitchell's support team detailed some of the problems that had to be overcome on the way to John O'Groats. He said: "The whole team has worked amazingly well together, overcoming issues including strong headwinds at times, rainstorms, traffic jams and severe fatigue, whilst maintaining totally focussed on keeping one bike, two riders, two vehicles and eight other team members all safe, fed and watered while on the road. It’s a fantastic feeling to have finally achieved something that we’ve all worked towards for so long."

The previous record of 50 hours, 14 minutes and 25 seconds had been held by Pete Swinden and John Withers, and was set in 1966.

There's a video below, posted to Instagram by Charlie's brother Ollie, of the pair arriving at John O'Groats.

Note: Their official tracker shows a shorter distance and therefore lower average speed because it plots location only every ten minutes and therefore misses out the fine details of the route.

We'll have more about this record breaking ride in the morning, but in the meantime, congratulations to both Dom and Charlie on a phenomenal achievement.




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.