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Riding from Cabo da Roca in Portugal to Ufa in Russia, Conway took nine hours off the previous mark to finish in under 25 days despite facing strong headwinds in the final week

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. 

Why your next bike should be a touring bike

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. 

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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. 

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.
 

After cobbling together a few hundred quid during his student days off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story), Jack bought his first road bike at the age of 20 and has been hooked ever since.  He joined road.cc in 2017, having previously worked for 220 Triathlon magazine. Jack's preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking (the latter being another long story), and on Sunday afternoons he can often be found on an M5 service station indulging in his favourite post-race meal of 20 chicken nuggets, a sausage roll, caramel shortbread and a large strawberry milkshake.