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CAROCAP team beats Mark Beaumont's Africa cycling world record

Trio of supported cyclists, which took four days off Beaumont's record pay tribute to Scotsman who completed the ride unsupported in May...

A new world record has been set for the fastest human powered crossing of the African continent, by a team of three cyclists from the UK, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Nicholas Bourne (UK), Mark Blewett (South Africa) and David Martin (Zimbabwe) rode from Cairo to Cape Town, covering a 10,600km route in 38 days, and crossing the line together at the weekend.

The trio beat the existing record, held by Mark Beaumont, by four days. They paid tribute to the Scotsman’s efforts, as while the “CAROCAP” team had a mobile campervan setting up meals and beds ahead of the riders, and a further car followed them while they cycled, Beaumont completed the challenge totally unsupported.

Mark Beaumont smashes Cairo to Cape Town record

Event creator Nicholas Bourne (who also holds also the current world record for running the continent) was elated to set a new world record, but believes it is unlikely to stand for long.

He said: “We are certain that this record will be broken again as the road infrastructure improves and knowledge about how best to ride the different and varied stages and environments is more available but we have set a very high marker for current conditions. We look forward to the next contenders to step forward and take on this epic challenge”.

Each day started at 4am, with ten hours’ riding split between the morning and evening to avoid the midday temperatures, which sometimes reached 40 degrees centigrade. The group covered an average of 287km each day at an average speed of 30kph, on SwiftCarbon road bikes.

The team, which shrunk from six original riders, hoped to complete the ride in 34 days, but lost one day to sickness when Mark Blewett contracted a stomach bug, and a further day when Egyptian authorities changed the route for security reasons. 

Mark Beaumont cycled from Cairo to Cape Town in May this year in 42 days, beating the previous record by 17 days. Beaumont described the ride as “the toughest ride of my life, by far”, contending with a number of mechanical problems, fending off a mugging, and illness alone.

The team’s press officer, Patrick Traynor, told “The guys said half way through ‘I don’t know how Beaumont did it, even with those extra five days, having to do everything each day.’”

“Hats off to Beaumont”.

CAROCAP is raising funds for the Safari Simbaz Cycling Academy in Kenya, and the provision of 1,100 bikes to World Bicycle Relief.

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ped | 8 years ago


“Hats off to Beaumont”.

Err …  seems like they perhaps know it's not comparable to MB's record.

Credit where credit's due regardless. Still a fantastic acheivement. 

dassie | 8 years ago
1 like

Yes, good job - but's it's not the same record at MB's.

james-o | 8 years ago

The Guiness record is an A-B speed record, plus a good way of getting mainstream press. In anything like this there's the fastest and there's good style, not always linked in cycling and it's subjective as to what is good style anyway - RAAM vs TransAm?  I think alpine-style climbers are the example to aspire to there, fast, minimal impact, self-sufficient etc. 

Mark Beaumont solo being just ~10% slower than a supported team of 3 (drafting?) is a tribute to how well he rode, as these guys have said. The record itself has to be balanced with that imo. 175-180 miles a day is within the reach of many riders, keeping focussed over 35-40 days maybe less so.

Gkam84 | 8 years ago

Calling bullshit on this, it cannot beat Mark's record, purely and simply because team records and solo records are seperate.

So for them to claim Mark's records it total horse crap. They can have a team record, but Mark still holds the solo record.

*Edit* Having spoken to Mark, it seems that there is no distiguishment because solo vs team or unsupported vs supported, It is about high time there was, else I need 25 volunteers, lets go smash it in under 20 days....

1961BikiE | 8 years ago

Have to agree with Airzound in the main. I don't see how this effort, as good as it is can be said to have broken Mark's record. I'm happy for them to be given a supported team record but Mr Beaumont's is surely an unsupported solo record. Can I claim it if I go and do it on a motorbike?

Airzound | 8 years ago

LMAO. I'm sure these are great guys but to compare their achievement with Mark Beaumont's World Record is frankly laughable. Not only were they supported but it took 3 of them. In fact you could say it is NOT even the same record. In my book Mark still holds the WR for a single unsupported ride. These guys are jokers if they think they can take this record off Mark. I would like to see each of them do the same, bet they couldn't. Go on, go on, go on ..............

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