Back in June we announced that ACE Sameday Couriers was the headline sponsor for a bid to set a new cycling world record; Leigh Timmis was aiming to break the record for – The Fastest Cycle Across Europe. A new fastest time was set by adventurer Sean Conway in May this year of 24 days and 19 hours.
The start and finish points for the record are Cabo da Roca on the west coast of Portugal and Ufa in Russia – the most Westerly and Easterly points of Europe respectively. Unlike Conway, Leigh’s ride will be supported by a road team so he will have a significant advantage over Sean. However, for vehicle insurance reasons, Leigh was be unable to go through the Ukraine and had to follow a different route into Russia through Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.
Leigh recently spent 7 years riding around the world, returning to his home city of Derby in 2017, so he knows a thing or two about endurance cycling. His solo adventure was the beginning of a journey of self-discovery and the Fastest Cycle Across Europe was to be a continuation of this but with a different focus; Leigh’s attempt was fully supported and he was aiming to slice more than 6 days off the current record.
It’s a monumental challenge and Leigh is being supported by a highly professional team including a physiologist, a psychologist and a nutritionist who are all based at the Human Performance Unit at the University of Derby. By meticulously preparing for the ride Leigh and his team are aiming to pre-empt many of the problems that have hampered previous attempts, be they physical, mechanical or psychological.
Leigh is a passionate advocate for better mental health awareness and works hard to promote the conversation through speaking to groups in schools and businesses around the region. He is supporting mental health research charity MQ: Transforming Mental Health.
We were delighted to have become sponsors for this fantastic project and couldn’t wait for the ride to begin. Throughout the ride people were able to check out Leigh’s progress via live tracking at www.leightimmis.com – you could see how he compared to the current record holder Sean Conway’s bid earlier this year.
Leigh has arrived in Ufa having ridden from Portugal in an astonishing 16 days 10 hours and 45 minutes. Just over 8 days faster than the current record. What an achievement!
We will be posting a blog about how we got involved with Leigh and the lengths we went to in supporting his record attempt. Meanwhile, here is the man himself speaking to the BBC the record attempt and about his struggles with his mental health and they has influenced his life