Scotland

Cyclist Mark Beaumont targets around the world in 80 days

Mark Beaumont Image copyright PA
Image caption Mark Beaumont wants to cycle round the world in 80 days

Endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont has announced plans to go around the world in 80 days on his bike, which would involve smashing the current record.

To be successful, the Scot will have to complete the 18,000 mile route in less than half the time he took when he set the record nine years ago.

He will also have to knock more than 40 days off the current world record.

Beaumont, 34, will begin his trek on 2 July and will have to travel 240 miles a day to get around the world on time.

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Media captionCyclist Mark Beaumont will have to travel 240 miles a day to achieve the feat

Beaumont set the world record in 2008, completing his cycle around the globe in 194 days.

Since then, riders have whittled the record down to the current level of 123 days, set by New Zealand's Andrew Nicholson.

Beaumont, who lives in Perthshire, told BBC Breakfast that this latest attempt had been "three years in the planning".

Image copyright Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert
Image caption Beaumont cycled the length of Africa two years ago

As a warm-up to the trip, he will first cycle around the coastline of Britain, beginning on Tuesday.

The 3,500-mile, 15-day training ride will be at "80 days" pace and will see Beaumont cycle for 16 hours and 240 miles per day.

He said: "I know what I'm getting into. I cycled around the world 10 years ago but that was unsupported, wild man-style, trying to find clean water and a place to sleep.

"This time it is Tour De France-style. I have a support team behind me and it is just about performance. That makes a huge difference."

He will be supported by a team including a mechanic, nutritionist, physiotherapist and manager.

Beaumont said: "I will be travelling 240 miles and be riding for 16 hours a day so there are not many reference points for this level of endurance.

"The whole point of the next couple of weeks going around the coastline of Britain is to test the theory, to know that I can hold that 80-day pace."

The cyclist said his average day would see him on the bike at 04:00 and riding for four sets of four hours with half-hour breaks in between.

"I'll get off the bike at 9.30 at night, get some recovery, into bed and the alarm goes off at 3.30 and back on the bike."

He said he would need to take on about 8,000 calories a day and he had a top team looking after his nutrition.

The world tour route starts from Paris goes through Europe, Russia and Mongolia to Beijing in China.

It goes across Australia, up New Zealand, across North America from Anchorage and then the final "sprint finish" is Lisbon, through Madrid and back to Paris.

The rules state a rider has to go more than 18,000 miles and has to go through two points on the opposite side of the planet.

Endurance rides

Beaumont said he had "not rolled out of bed" and thought cycling round the world "sounds like a good idea".

He said he had cycled across Scotland as a 12-year-old boy and had been doing endurance rides for the past 20 years.

"I know what I'm taking on," he said.

"It scares me. It intimidates me but this is me putting all my cards on the table. I believe this is possible."

The adventurer is raising funds for Orkidstudio, which works to benefit communities worldwide through innovative architecture and construction.

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