Since Mike Hall’s victorious arrival back in London as winner of the WCR Grand Tour, we have continued to follow with interest the exploits of the remaining members of this, the toughest of pelotons in all of Cycling. Our field of racers from the ten original starters had been whittled down to three with Mike’s completion, and we are able to report this morning that the number is now smaller.
Richard Dunnett, as we briefly reported via Facebook at the weekend, is now also finally home. He cranked out his final miles through the early hours of last Saturday, arriving at Greenwich later that same afternoon. His final leg took him on a fairly varicose route through Europe, riding his lasts miles as he did from Bulgaria through the Ukraine and Poland, and then onwards through Austria, Italy and the south of France towards Calais in the north, where he hopped a ferry on Friday night to Dover.
When ratified, his efforts will put him second fastest on the current all-time list of unsupported circumnavigations of the Earth by bike. We are pretty sure he would also be comfortably at the very top of any Guinness Records list for Most Cake Eaten En Route. No mean feat, Richard.
Around the same time as Richard was hitting London at the weekend, Sean Conway was preparing to disclose plans to cut his circumnavigation short, in respect of Guinness Record standards at least. He is powering through central France and has made travel arrangements that will leave him in Brighton on the 16th of July. He cordially invites anybody who wishes, to accompany him by bike from there to London.
For him the race has taken quite the physical toll. Remember, he wasn’t long underway when involved in a rather serious crash in Arkansas, leaving him with spinal injuries, and his neck in a brace. Obviously it’s pretty difficult to shave with a neck brace on, and it can’t be complete coincidence that around this time Sean began to grow a beard. The beard gradually became a fiery thicket, and Sean overheard two Frenchmen (he doesn’t speak French) have the following chat in his presence the other day -
“Bla bla bla. Bla bla?”
“Bla bla bla Forrest Gump bla bla.”
So who does that leave us with? Simon Hutchinson! The Other Irishman is in Peru right now. Later this week he’ll fly from Lima to Shannon, and from there he’ll clock up a few of his last miles on home turf, before doubtless jumping… the ferry? From Dublin? To Holyhead? Or Liverpool, maybe? That’s what you all thought, right? Wrong, Simon will be riding south to north and therefore taking the boat from Larne to Stranraer in Scotland.
We gather he is in good spirits, and that his family is eagerly waiting to get a quick look at him as he zooms through Bailieborough, without stopping for so much as a cup of tea and a bacon sandwich.
And lest we forget, Kristina Stoney is still moving. She joined the race a while back, and when not taking part in Ironman contests and sitting in on Sustainability Think Tanks along the way, is also in search of the Women’s record for fastest circumnavigation by bike. InTurkey right now, Kristina is heading East.