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Dom Irvine and Charlie Mitchell smash LEJOG tandem record after half a century

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.




Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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