Mark Beaumont has smashed the record for Scotland’s North Coast 500, setting a new time of 28 hours 35 minutes to beat the existing record by half an hour.
In 2015 the Scottish endurance athlete, now aged 39, became the first cyclist to complete a timed ride on the circular route that starts and finishes in Inverness, completing it in 37 hours, 56 minutes, 44 seconds.
Last year, fellow Scot Robbie Mitchell took the record below the 30-hour mark, riding the route – often billed as Scotland’s answer to Route 66 due to its spectacular scenery – in 29 hours, 5 minutes.
Beaumont, who also holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest circumnavigation of the world by bike, his time of 78 days, 14 hours, 40 minutes set in 2017, set out from Inverness Castle at 8am on Saturday.
After battling with the wind and rain, he returned there to complete his 515-mile record-breaking ride, which is subject to verification from the World Ultra Cycling Association, yesterday lunchtime just before storms were forecast to hit the Highland capital.
Beaumont, who undertook his effort on an Argon 18 E-119 Tri+ bike, is an ambassador for the mobile navigation and route-planning app Komoot, and posted his ride there once he had completed it, at an average speed of 18.2mph (29.3kph), including breaks, and 32,000 feet (9,754 metres) of climbing.
Afterwards, Beaumont said: “It was even harder to break Robbie’s record than I thought it would be.
“Even when weather is in your favour, there’s no ‘free miles’ on the North Cost 500.
“My best memories from the last 28 hours and the days and weeks prior to the attempt have involved the incredible support team, and having my wife Nicci along for the ride for the first time was special."
His ride was filmed by GCN+ for an exclusive documentary due to be released later this year, and Beaumont added: “I hope this film inspires people to explore the north of Scotland - but I wouldn’t recommend trying it non-stop!”
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.