Scotland

Mark Beaumont breaks Africa cycling world record

Mark Beaumont in Africa Image copyright Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

Scottish cyclist and adventurer Mark Beaumont has set a new world record after cycling from Cairo to Cape Town in only 42 days.

He beat the previous record of 59 days and eight hours, set by South African rider Keegan Longueira earlier this year.

Mr Beaumont, from Perthshire, was met at the finish line by his family.

In a video posted on Facebook from South Africa, he thanked his supporters.

He said: "It has been the toughest ride of my life by far. There have been some incredibly hard hours and days.

"It is hard to describe the amount of pain you go through on a trip like that.

"I have thought about getting to this point hundreds and hundreds of times."

He added: "Thanks to everyone who supported the Africa solo expedition online. The amount of people sending comments of support has been brilliant.

"It has really kept me going."

Image copyright Mark Beaumont

Mr Beaumont's cycle, in which he raised money for Orkidstudio, was over 6,213 miles (10,000 km) of Africa. He had set a target of riding the distance in 50 days.

He averaged over 150 miles a day and on Monday he posted on his Facebook page that he had cycled 232 miles on that day alone.

During the cycle - which began on 10 April - Mr Beaumont had problems with his bike, was unwell and had to fight off an attempted mugging.

The Africa cycle is the latest in his adventures.

In 2008, he cycled around the world and broke the Guinness World Record for the fastest circumnavigation by bicycle. His journey was documented in BBC One's four-part series, The Man who Cycled the World.

His next big challenge came in 2009 when he cycled the Americas, taking him from Anchorage in Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.

In 2011 Mr Beaumont was a crew-member aboard a rowing boat that travelled across the arctic. They became the first team to reach a certified polar position by rowing boat.

In 2012, along with a crew, he attempted the world record for the fastest crossing of the mid-Atlantic by ocean rowing boat. On day 28, a wave capsized one of the boats and the crew spent 14 hours in the water until they were rescued.

Last year, he travelled around the 70 nations and territories of the Commonwealth as he followed the Queen's Baton Relay for the BBC in the lead up to Glasgow 2014.