Bearded extreme adventurer Sean Conway has broken the record for the fastest crossing of Europe by bike unsupported, riding from the westernmost point of Portugal to Ufa in Russia in 24 days, 18 hours and 39 minutes.
Using a signature steel performance tourer by Stanforth Bikes dubbed the Stanforth Conway (read all about it here) Conway began in Cabo da Roca on the 16th April, arriving in Ufa at 15:39 local time on Friday 11th May. The previous record to beat of 25 days, 3 hours and 38 minutes was set in July last year by Jonas Deichmann of Germany, with Conway's time beating that mark with a shade under 9 hours to spare.
Riding unsupported, Conway was forced to bed down for the night under a bivvy with a sleeping bag to save weight on his bike; and sleeping on roadsides and even in an under-road drain on one occasion, he claims to have averaged around four hours shut-eye a night. Conway also faced very strong headwinds in the last thousand miles, and credited taking an alternative route in the final week as he crossed Russia for helping to claw back some of the lost time.
And that’s a wrap. It’s taken me 6 years, 60,000 miles and 3 failed attempts at a cycling world record but today it finally happened. 3980 miles across Europe world record in 24 days. 18 hours. 39 minutes. I think I may lie down now. #europecyclerecord pic.twitter.com/NVvIsHNdW6
— Sean Conway (@Conway_Sean) May 11, 2018
Conway spoke of his relief at finally landing the record on his Twitter page earlier, after his first attempt at it last August ended at the 800 mile mark due to an injury: "It’s taken me 6 years, 60,000 miles and 3 failed attempts at a cycling world record but today it finally happened. 3980 miles across Europe world record in 24 days. 18 hours. 39 minutes. I think I may lie down now", wrote Conway.
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.