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Michael Broadwith breaks Edinburgh to London record in very close-run effort

“Incredible” support hailed as ultracyclist beats Pete Wells’ 1989 time by a little over 5 minutes

Ultracyclist Michael Broadwith has broken the Edinburgh to London cycling record, but it was touch and go with his support crew unsure whether he had done enough to claim it until well after his ride finished late last night.

Subject to ratification by the Road Records Association (RRA), the maths teacher from Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire beat the previous record, held since 1989 by Pete Wells, by just 5 minutes 17 seconds, according to a post on Facebook from his Arctic-Aircon Racing Team.

The new provisional record is 17 hour 42 minutes and 47 seconds, but it was a close run thing, not least due to unexpected road closures as Broadwith rode through London to the finish line King Edward Street, close to St Paul’s Cathedral.

The finish location for the record, first set in 1903, was by the statue of postal reformer Roland Hill by the site where the General Post Office stood from 1829 until it was demolished in 1912, with the ride starting outside its counterpart in the Scottish capital, as stipulated in RRA rules for attempts on the record.

He was not just riding against the clock – as he left Edinburgh, a letter was posted there addressed to a location close to the finish, meaning he was also racing against the speed with which the Royal Mail could get it from one city to the other. It seems that he won that one, too.

In 2018 Broadwith smashed the Land’s End to John O’Groats record by more than half an hour, and among those supporting him on the roadside during that ride was Gethin Butler, who had held the record for the previous 17 years. Likewise, he received a message of support from Wells on the eve of yesterday’s ride.

> Michael Broadwith smashes the Land's End to John O'Groats record

His support crew also paid tribute to the “incredible” support he had received on the way from Edinburgh to London, whether from those stood at the roadside, or people following his progress through social media.

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.

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