AN AMBITIOUS attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the fastest cycle across Europe will get into first gear this Sunday at the forthcoming Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia in Pitlochry.
Simon Atkinson, from Worthing in West Sussex, has set himself a target to beat the current record of 39 days, to complete the cross border route of around 4000 miles, taking in ten countries, in just 28 days. He will be averaging 140 miles cycling per day to set the new record and, as part of his warm up activities, will be taking part in Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia on Sunday 12th May.
“It’s a really tough physical challenge that lies ahead of me and I’m taking every opportunity to train that I can to ensure I’m in peak condition for the trip. The Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia is the perfect opportunity to test myself on similar terrains as to what I might expect on my journey across Europe. I’m particularly looking forward to the climb up Schiehallion – it should stand me in good stead for some of Europe’s more hilly regions!
“I will also be raising funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care as part of the challenge, and I would like to urge other participants to join me in this fundraising effort at this weekend’s event – it’s never too late to start fundraising and it’s a very worthwhile charity.”
The Guinness World Record for ‘Fastest Cycle Across Europe’ route runs from Tarifa, the southern-most point of Spain, to Nordkapp in Norway which is the most northerly point in Europe. Simon’s journey will take him through ten countries, Spain, France, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Finland and Norway. The current record is held by Glen Burmeister and stands at 39 days 11 hours, 24 minutes and 24.71 seconds.
The Marie Curie Cancer Care Etape Caledonia is arguably the UK’s most popular closed road sportive event, selling out in just 72 hours. Sibling events include the tougher little brother Etape Pennines, a stunning but challenging sportive, and forgiving little sister Etape Mercia, an entry level event. Entries are open at www.etapemercia.co.uk and www.etapepennines.co.uk
Participants can talk to Simon and the Marie Curie Cancer Care fundraising team this weekend about this forthcoming cycling challenge, and sign up to support Marie Curie Cancer Care at the event village in Pitlochry during registration times.