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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 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.

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