This is absolutely amazing and a fantastic achievement
Cyclist wins round-the-world race in record time
Engineer Mike Hall becomes fastest person to circumnavigate the globe by bicycle, winning race in just 92 days
A cyclist has triple cause for celebration after he won a round-the-world race on his birthday and broke the world record in the process.
Mike Hall, 31, became the fastest person to circumnavigate the globe by bicycle, cycling around the world in just 92 days and beating the previous record holder by nearly two weeks.
The engineer, who averaged about 200 miles a day, beat the nine other competitors in the race by several days as he crossed the finish line at Greenwich royal observatory in south-east London on Monday, more than three months after setting off from there.
His 24,900-mile journey has seen him ride 18,000 miles through about 20 countries and four continents to raise money for the Newborn Vietnam charity.
About 50 well-wishers cheered him on as he crossed the finish line just before 1pm.
Mike Hall Mike Hall celebrates his record-breaking win
Hall, from Harrogate, north Yorkshire, said he felt “stunned” as his friends and family popped champagne corks and sang Happy Birthday. “I think I had a lot of the emotions in the last few weeks on the roads. It was quite difficult and I think it builds up – the stress,” he said. “So I kind of released all that in the last few days. Now I just feel pretty calm.
“There’s been some moments, some kind of breakdowns, but I keep the breakdowns on the bike, I don’t stop for those.”
He said the worst thing to happen during the race was when he rode into a hole in Albania. “I broke my bike but managed to fix it with some parts I had, then had to ride through the night to get to Greece. There were a few close calls with traffic, but I just tried to keep safe, keep vigilant.”
On the highlights of the trip, he said: “There were some seal colonies off the coast of California, they were pretty cool, and there were some eagles in Turkey.”
Hall began the Quick Energy world cycle racing grand tour on 18 February and has so far raised about £1,000 for the charity, which provides healthcare and medical equipment for babies in Vietnam.
The cyclists chose their route for the race, but had to travel a minimum of 18,000 miles in the same direction with their GPS tracked throughout.
Hall planned his journey meticulously so he could ride the least distance possible. He said he believed it could be possible to complete the challenge in fewer than 80 days, excluding the time it would take to fly between continents.
“I would definitely change parts of the route if I did it again,” he said. “By doing six sets of 3,000 miles, for example, I think you could get it right down. And the time it takes to travel between each place resets you more or less.
Hall, who has competed in bike races since he was a teenager, added: “I’m not sure I would want to do it again, though.”