Mark Beaumont's 80 days around the world finishes '“ ahead of schedule

Mark Beaumont's around the world in 80 days challenge set to finish. Picture: Matt GraysonMark Beaumont's around the world in 80 days challenge set to finish. Picture: Matt Grayson
Mark Beaumont's around the world in 80 days challenge set to finish. Picture: Matt Grayson
Ultra-endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont is set to reclaim the world record for circumnavigating the globe one day ahead of schedule.

The adventurer is due to arrive in Paristoday, finishing his “round the world in 80 days” challenge on Day 79.

Inspired by Jules Verne’s classic adventure novel Around The World In Eighty Days, Beaumont set off from under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on 2 July.

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He cycled through Europe, Russia, Mongolia and China before his record attempt took him across Australia, New Zealand and North America.

He then arrived back in Europe for a final push from Lisbon to Paris.

Beaumont crossed the Spanish border on Saturday, and is making his way north-east towards the French capital.

His Artemis World Cycle covers 18,000 miles, which means the Scot has had to complete 240 miles a day – spending 16 hours in the saddle – to stay on schedule.

Speaking yesterday morning, he said: “The plan today if I do a normal 240-odd miler is it leaves about 180 miles to finish off tomorrow, so we will see how that goes.

“I’m hoping we can have some good rolling miles today. It should be quicker than yesterday, that’s for sure.”

He added: “I think all the team is pretty excited... but there is still a long way to go and if we can get through today successfully then we can start to think about the finish this time tomorrow.”

In 2008 Beaumont completed a cycle around the globe in 194 days, setting a world record.

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Since then, the record has been whittled down to 123 days by New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson.

Unlike his 2008 solo ride, he has been accompanied by a mechanic, nutritionist, physiotherapist and manager on this attempt.

Speaking at the start of his challenge in July, Beaumont said he spent three years creating a support team to deal with nutrition, logistics, navigation and safety, allowing him to “purely focus on my performance and being an athlete”.

“I don’t think anyone has ever tried to go this fast and this far before and I have been building on my experience as an endurance rider over two decades to prepare for this journey,” he said.

The cycling champion has faced some serious setbacks along the way, from smashing his face on the road in Moscow, breaking a tooth and fracturing his elbow to cheating death in Melbourne.

He has also tackled varying weather conditions – going from the heat of the European summer sun as he set off from France, where it was 24 degrees Celsius, to the winter temperatures of New Zealand, where it dropped below ten.

He recently faced a hot and hilly Spain, where he tackled the “biggest elevation day” in the country, climbing 4,000 metres, as he cycled towards the Pyrenees and French border. But he has also had some easier riding as he took on the longest straight road in the world – the 90-mile-long Eyre Highway in Australia.

Beaumont is looking forward to being reunited with his family in Paris, and getting back to Edinburgh for some home comforts. He said: “Getting to the finishing line means getting back to my wife (Nicci) and our two daughters (Harriet and Willia).

“I have missed my four-year-old daughter’s birthday being away and both the girls have grown up a lot since I left. It’s been such a massive build up to an event. It will be incredible.”