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Bournemouth University student becomes fourth fastest woman - and the youngest - to cycle round the world

20-year-old Vedangi Kulkarni took 159 days to complete 29,000-kilometre challenge

A Bournemouth University student has become the fourth fastest woman to cycle round the world, as well as the youngest – and the quickest Asian, male or female, to do so.

Vedangi Kulkarni from Pune, India, set out on her circumnavigation from Perth, Australia in July and was set to fly there from Kolkata on Christmas Eve to ride 15 kilometres back to the start point and formally complete her 29,000-kilometre trip in 159 days, reports the Times of India.

The Guinness World Record for the fastest circumnavigation of the globe by a female cyclist stands at 124 days, set by Scotland’s Jenny Graham earlier this year.

During her ride, Kulkarni, who celebrated her 20th birthday along the way, was chased by a grizzly bear in Canada, being robbed at knifepoint when cycling in Spain, and camping out in sub-zero temperatures in Russia.

Her journey took her through 14 countries including New Zealand, Portugal, France, Germany, and Finland with an average daily distance of more than 180 kilometres.

She lost time along the way due to visa difficulties, which also hampered her progress through Europe and Russia as winter set in.

She said: "My parents have done a great job in giving a 19-year- old all the required mental support and encouragement to explore the world, standing strong when the going got tough, always being on the other end of the phone and at not letting the curiosity die out due to ill experiences even though the parental instincts told them otherwise."

Among those to congratulate her on social media was the men’s Guinness World Record holder, Mark Beaumont.

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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