The World Cycling Race (WCR) is officially underway this morning, Saturday March 1st. The route travels 18,000 miles around Planet Earth in an easterly or westerly direction, without going backwards, and passing through two antipodal points en route.  The WCR is a single stage race and the clock runs continuously until all the riders have lapped our planet and reached the finish line at their point of departure. The race motto says it all…

If you want a bigger race, find a bigger planet.

There are four participants hoping to achieve arguably the hardest race of the year. Breifne Earley,  Fran Hollender, and Lee Francourt, all started from London today and all three have decided to tackle the route in a easterly direction, heading across Europe and then down to India first.  Prasad Erand started in Bangkok today and is the only racer who is headed west.  The rules are aligned around the Guinness Book of World Record of circumnavigation by bicycle, to ensure that the record can be broken. Each individual is hoping to break the record. The current Mens record is 125 days, 21 hours, and 15 minutes (Alan Bate – 2010) and for the women, 152 days and 1 hour (Juliana Buhring – 2012). That is a very long time on a bike. See Wikipedia for an explanation on Mike Hall’s Record in 2012.
World Cycling Race
Three racers who started in London took off this morning
Below is a statement from participant Lee Fancourt, Lee is attempting to become the fastest cyclist to navigate the world…Here is what he had to say: My preparation for this race only really began on January 1st 2014 as I was planning to cycle the world in May, not now. I applied to the Guinness records about attempting to break the world record just before Christmas & discovered the ‘World Cycle Race’ by accident while searching online for possible routes. I applied to compete immediately & was accepted. As you can imagine, the past few weeks have been incredibly busy as I’ve planned the whole challenge personally. Trying to plan & train for this race at the same time has been a huge challenge in itself. Due to the terrible battering we’ve had from the wind & the rain, I decided to cycle to the south of Spain & back to get some big miles in my legs at the end of January. The weather wasn’t much better in France but I still managed 2,300 miles in 11 days, which set me up perfectly fitness & endurance wise. I cycled a couple of 300 mile days back to back with 200 mile days & my body seemed to cope very well. Of course, averaging over 200 miles everyday for 3 months is much longer! During Autumn last year I cycled LEJOGLE & then to Rome & back for charity so cycling long distances on back to back days isn’t new to me. It was while on the ferry back to Dover that I met another cyclist who told me that I was averaging more miles every day than Alan Bate did when he set a world record cycling the world in 125 days. This planted a seed & while cycling from Dover to Gloucester the next day, I decided I wanted to cycle the world & break the record. All in all, I feel I am 100% ready for this race. I have some great sponsors ‘Le Col’ & ‘Spiuk’ & some local sponsors from my home city of Gloucester. I am determined to win & set a new world record in under 90 days including flights & transfers. There other riders with undoubtedly equal ambition as myself, so only time will tell now. I want to wish my fellow competitors a safe trip. Just before the race took off, race director Dan Wedgwood caught up with the three participants that started in London this morning. Breifne Earley said: “I’m in it to win it, but the important thing is to finish the race and complete a successful circumnavigation.”
World Cycling Race
Fran Hollender’s set up
Fran Hollender said: “I have a figure in mind for the number of days I want to take, but I’m not saying what that is!” Fran has been training with the current women’s record holder, Juliana Buhring, and its likely if all goes according to plan that the 152 day record will be broken. She is also the only racer to go unsupported. Lee Fancourt said: “I’m taking part to win the race and set a new world record, there’s no other outcome I’m aiming for. Hopefully I will achieve a time that takes a significant chunk off the current record.” If you are curious on the location of the riders check out this tracking link on the All photos taken this morning in London by Dan Wedgwood of

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