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Beryl Burton's 12-hour time trial record falls after half a century

Alice Lethbridge rode 285.65 miles earlier this month to beat one of cycling's longest-standing records...

Beryl Burton's women's 12-hour time trial record, which when it was set in 1967 was the furthest distance ridden at such an event by any cyclist, male or female, has been beaten after half a century. 

Alice Lethbridge of the Drag2Zero team rode 285.65 miles at the Eastern Counties Cycling Association 12-hour Championship on Sunday 13 August.

That was a little over 8 miles more than the 277.25 miles that Burton, whom many consider to be the UK's greatest ever cyclist, rode in 1967 - a distance that wouldn't be beaten by a male cyclist for more than two years.

 Burton, from Morley near leads, won 122 national titles during her career, as well as seven world titles.

She was appointed MBE in 1964 and OBE four years later, and died ib 1996 at the age of 58.

Only nine men bettered Lethbridge's distance over the E2/12h course the Sunday before last, with the furthest set by Richard Bideau of Pendle Forest CC, who rode 312 miles in the 12 hours.

Official results have not yet been posted with the final distances achieved by some riders yet to be ratified by the ECCA, but Lethbridge, a schoolteacher by profession, told that her distance had been confirmed by the association's secretary.

It was the first time she had attempted a 12-hour time trial, and in this blog post for, she talks us through the day she broke one of cycling's longest-standing and most iconic records.


Simon has been news editor at 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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