Steve Abraham has abandoned his second attempt to break the record for the greatest distance cycled in a year.
In a video filmed last night and which includes a lengthy Q&A, the 42-year-old from Milton Keynes acknowledged that he was falling further and further behind the distance he needed to ride each day and that while he didn't want to give up, "it isn't working."
Abraham's attempt on the record started afresh on 8 August last year, four months after his original attempt received what proved to be a terminal setback when he was knocked off his bike by a moped rider.
Originally. Abraham, whose Highest Annual Mileage Record attempt was being undertaken under Ultramarathon Cycling Association (UMCA) rules, had been aiming to surpass the 75,065 miles ridden by Tommy Godwin in 1939.
But earlier this month, the American Kurt Searvogel set a new record of 76,076 miles and one can only imagine the effect on Abraham, who had begun his original attempt a few days before his rival, but still faced the prospect of eight more months in the saddle.
According to the spreadsheet on the UMCA website, since Monday 11 January Abraham has only recorded mileage for four days.
As a result his average daily mileage has dropped to 179.17 miles, meaning he would have to ride an average of 228 miles every day for the next eight months just to match Godwin's record.
News of the abandonment was confirmed by Abraham's team this morning. They said:
With great sadness, Steve Abraham has made the decision to end his second attempt on the Highest Annual Mileage World Record.
Steve's aim has always been to break the record (he didn’t want to come second, or third). After careful consideration of his current performance - and after lengthy discussions with the support team - Steve decided on Thursday 21 January 2016 that he will officially withdraw from his ongoing attempt on the Highest Annual Mileage Record.
As you can imagine, the decision to end this attempt has not been an easy one. Steve would like to thank you all for your incredible support. For now he will undertake a well earned period of rest and recovery, before deciding on any plans for the future.
Away from the UMCA rules, London-based Bruce Berkeley is also attempting the Year record, setting out on 1 January, with his attempt being certified by Guinness World Records, which has Godwin as the current holder.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.