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Kurt Searvogel awarded Guinness World Record for distance cycled in a year

American ultracyclist broke news on Facebook on Friday evening

Guinness World Records has recognised Kurt Searvogel as the new holder of the record for the greatest distance cycled in a year.

The American ultracyclist replaces Britain’s Tommy Godwin, whose distance ridden of 75,075 miles in 1939 had been considered unbreakable.

In a Facebook post on Friday, Searvogel said the management team at Guinness World Records had told him: “We are thrilled to inform you that your application for greatest distance cycled in a year (male) has been successful and you are now the Guinness World Records Title Holder!

“You will shortly receive your Guinness World Records certificate in the post.”

The record is now on the organisation's website, where it says:

The greatest distance cycled in a year by a male is 122,432.7 km (76,076 miles) and was achieved by Kurt Searvogel (USA), in Tampa, Florida, USA, on 9 January 2016. Kurt completed his attempt under the auspices of the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association.

Kurt cycled an average of 335.44 km (208.43 miles) each day.

The Ultramarathon Cycling Association (UMCA), which logged his efforts on its website, had previously confirmed that distance of 76,076 miles.

Both Searvogel and British rider Steve Abraham, who confirmed yesterday that he had abandoned his renewed attempt on the record, undertook their challenges under UMCA rules.

Earlier this week, the UMCA said it had disqualified London-based New Zealander, Bruce Berkeley, under its rules because he did not comply with certain requirements, believed to be related to live tracking .

Berkeley set off on his attempt on 1 January this year, and Guinness World Records  confirmed to on Thursday that it will monitor his efforts.

A spokesman told us: “Guinness World Records can confirm that they have received a record application from Bruce Berkeley for the greatest distance cycled in a year.

“We wish him the best of luck throughout his record attempt and look forward to receiving his evidence so we can verify his evidence in the near future.”

When we received that email, there was no suggestion that Guinness World Records would be certifying Searvogel’s record, raising the prospect of a situation similar to sports such as boxing with different bodies recognising different achievements.

The acceptance of his achievement therefore not only brings both records together, but also gives anyone aiming at the Guinness World Record a new benchmark to beat.

He told us: “I'm stoked. I'm elated that Guinness and UMCA have worked together and that Guinness has recognized that HAMR rules provide an rigorous verification system for this record.”

Searvogel also had a message for Abraham, whose initial attempt was curtailed after he was run over by a moped rider last March and took up the record attempt in earnest from 8 August after he had fully recovered from his injuries

“Steve, have a good rest, you've earned it,” he said.

“Your doggedness is legendary. Only you and I know what it takes to get up every day knowing that we 200 miles before we can rest again.”

One other issue remains to be clarified.

It had been reported here on and elsewhere that Berkeley already held Guinness World Records for the greatest distances cycled in a week and in a month.

That turns out to be incorrect and most likely results from and other sites picking uo on reports that the records had been broken at the time subject to certification by Guinness World Records.

So we asked them to clarify the current status of the week and month cycling records.

“They told us: “We have recently opened a record category for one week (minimum of 2,800 km to beat).”

 “The farthest distance cycled in one month is 6,455 km (4,010 miles) and was achieved by Janet Davison (UK) from 24 July to 22 August 2015.”

We are happy to put the record straight on those issues.

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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