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British couple target fastest tandem cycle around the world

Hoping to complete a century a day to cover 18,000 miles in 180 days, Laura and Stevie Massey-Pugh are currently crossing Canada on their journey back east to Berlin

A couple from Derby are midway through their attempt to become Guinness World Record holders for the fastest tandem cycle around the world.

Laura and Stevie Massey-Pugh do not just want to beat the record, currently 263 days, eight hours and seven minutes, they hope to take 80 days off it and set a new best of 18,000 miles around the globe in just 180 days. 

For the less confident mental mathematicians amongst you that's an average of 100 miles a day. Every day. On a tandem.

Setting out from Berlin's Brandenburg Gate back in June, the pair headed east through Europe, crossing to Asia in Turkey, across India, down Thailand and Malaysia, over Australia, and are currently traversing Canada en route to the Atlantic and back to Europe in time for early December.

Canada's freezing temperatures have proved challenging, with Laura telling the Derby Telegraph they have had to overcome stomach problems in India, being knocked off their bike by a moped rider in Malaysia, and visa issues in Azerbaijan.

By Berlin they will have covered 22 countries, every pedal revolution shown on the live tracker on the SteLa Tandem Around the World website where they have also been posting daily blog updates detailing the adventure.

Well qualified for the calf-burning mileage, Stevie is a former fourth-place finisher in the National 24-hour Time Trial Championships (clocking 725km, if you were wondering), while they are both Audax regulars and have completed a tandem Land's End to John O'Groats.

The couple's around the world ride is raising money for three charities: Sustrans, Mind and Vetlife, with full details and the link to donate on their website also.

"It's been really tough," Laura told the Derby Telegraph. "We thought we'd have more time to stop and take in a bit more of the culture in different countries. But it's been a lot of getting our heads down and powering through. We'll have to return to some places to see things we missed, when we're not racing against time!"

Dan is the news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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