Bath-based academic Dr Ian Walker has broken the world record for cycling through Europe from North to South, riding from North Cape in Norway to Tarifa in Spain in 16 days, 20 hours and 59 minutes.
The 6,300-kilometre ride took Walker – the winner last year of the North Cape 4000 ultracyling race – through 10 countries.
From Norway, he headed through Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany and France before riding across Spain to his final destination on the Straits of Gibraltar.
The journey – which was fully self-supported – took him from inside the Arctic Circle to within site of Africa, and coincided with last week’s record temperatures in parts of the continent.
16 days, 20 hours, 59 minutes.
The new world record for crossing Europe by bike.
I did it solo and unsupported.
It feels great. pic.twitter.com/Srf2eRHTgD
— Ian Walker (@ianwalker) July 8, 2019
When he was planning his attempt, the record stood at 21, days 14 hours and 23 minutes, but just four days before he set off, Rob Gardiner set a new record of 19 days, 11 hours and 5 minutes.
Walker took on the challenge to raise money for the charity Roadpeace and as well as smashing the record, he has smashed his fundraising target – you can donate here.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.