A German ultracyclist is on target to set a new world record for the fastest journey by bike from the northernmost point in Europe to the southern tip of Africa.
Jonas Deichmann, aged 31, is now within 1,000 kilometres of Cape Town, 70 days and more than 17,000 kilometres after setting off from North Cape in Norway.
As he rides through South Africa – the 15th and final country on the itinerary – he is on course to shatter the existing record of 102 days, set in 2013 by Reza Pakravan and Steven Pawley.
Like them, Deichmann originally planned to undertake the 18,000-kilometre journey as one half of a pair, setting off from Norway with 51-year-old ultracyclist and photographer Philipp Hympendahl.
The latter was forced to abandon in Egypt due to food poisoning, however, leaving Deichmann – who has been stricken by the same illness more than once on his trip – to ride on alone.
It won’t be the first ultracycling world record that the German has set.
In 2017, he set off from Cabo da Roca in Portugal and 64 days later arrived in Vladivostock on Russia’s Pacific coast. It was the fastest crossing of Eurasia by bike, and on the way he also set a new record for the fastest trip across Europe.
Last year Deichmann also set a new world record for riding the length of the Americas, completing the 23,000-kilometre Panamerican Highway route from Alaska to Argentina in 98 days and beating the existing record by almost a month.
His current record attempt as seen him ride an average of around 240 kilometres a day, spending 10 to 11 hours riding daily.
Despite that punishing schedule, he also finds time to provide regular updates about his trip on social media – with the Facebook post below, from last Thursday highlighting the impressive list of kit he is using.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc 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.