Extreme Cheltenham cyclist aims to cross Europe in 25 days

Extreme adventurer Sean Conway Image copyright PA
Image caption Sean Conway aims to knock four days off the existing record set last year by James McLaren

An extreme adventurer from Cheltenham is preparing to break the world record for the fastest crossing of Europe on a bicycle.

Sean Conway aims to cycle 4,500 miles unsupported, from Portugal to Russia in less than 25 days.

The 36-year-old says he wants to find out more about the lives his European neighbours lead.

Last year he completed a 4,000-mile ultra-triathlon around the coastline of Britain.

The current world record stands at 29 days, 18 hours and 25 minutes. Mr Conway hopes to knock four days off the record by cycling about 180 miles each day, beginning on August 5.

Image copyright James Cheadle/Discovery Communications/PA
Image caption Sean Conway said his ultra-triathlon around the UK coastline was the 'hardest thing' he had done

"I'm looking to not only break the world record for the fastest cycle across Europe but also to have the opportunity to meet some incredible people along the way," he said.

"It's an uncertain time across Europe at the moment and we rarely hear reports of how nice people can be, only the bad stuff.

"I hope that I will be able to spend some time along the way chatting to the people that I meet and finding out more about the lives our neighbours lead."

Hardest adventure

The distance he will ride - from Cabo de Roca on the west coast of Portugal to Ufa in Russia - is more than double that of the Tour de France, where competitors took on 2,200 miles over 23 days.

Devon cyclist James McLaren set the current record in May 2016, travelling in the opposite direction from Russia to Portugal.

Less than a month later, Mr Conway completed an 85-day journey cycling, running and swimming around the coast.

He described the circumnavigation at the time as "without doubt, the hardest thing that I have ever done".

Previously he became the first person to run, swim and cycle the length of the UK and in 2015 completed the journey a fourth time - by boat.

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