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Amanda Coker breaks Kurt Searvogel's Year record - with 40 days to spare

24-year-old from Florida got back on the bike in 2015 after two years recovering from brain and spinal injuries

American ultracyclist Amanda Coker has broken Kurt Seravogel's record of 76,076 miles for the greatest distance ridden on a bike in a year - and she's done it with 40 days to spare.

Since setting out on 5 May last year, the 24-year-old has ground out an incredible 233.74 miles a day on average.

But as the 12 months have gone on, she’s pushed up her daily distance – in the past fortnight, for instance, she’s only dropped below 260 miles on one day, and even then, she clocked up 247.5 miles.

At that rate, she could well add at least another 10,000 miles to the record, which is being done under Ultramarathon Cycling Association rules.

The Florida native returned to cycling in 2015 following a two-year break as she recovered from brain and spinal injuries when she and her father were hit from behind by a driver travelling at 55mph while they were out riding their bikes.

Whatever distance Coker ends up setting by the time her 12 months on the bike ends, one rider already has it in his sights – British cyclist Steve Abraham, who last month set off on his third attempt at the Year record.

And while some may view Coker’s efforts as not being in the spirit of the record – her riding has been confined to laps of Flatwoods Park, Tampa Bay, Abraham disagrees.

Announcing his fresh attempt at the Year record, he wrote: “I don't think she has it as easy as lot of people think. The circuit she rides is known locally as ‘The Windy Woods’, because it isn't that well sheltered from the wind.

“I could easily do a similar amount of climbing to Amanda by staying in the Fens.

“The problem with that is the wind. Any wind over 5mph lowers the speed too much,” he added.

In a post to Facebook congratulating her on the record, Searvogel said that it was joining him at the park as he zeroed in on Tommy Godwin’s 1939 Year record, long considered ‘unbreakable’ that led to her targeting it.

 

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.

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