Sean Conway: overcoming failure and attempting a world record


28.02.18 at 12:06 pm

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Yellow Jersey ambassador and bearded adventurer, Sean Conway attended the London Bike Show with us last weekend and met with TV presenter, journalist and cycling commentator, Rebecca Charlton on stage, to announce his latest challenge.

Cast your mind back to last August when Sean set off on a mission to become the fastest man to cross Europe by bicycle. He was making exceptional progress covering 800 miles in just 4 days when he sustained an injury forcing him to withdraw.


The easy thing to do would be to put this idea to bed and move onto a new project. Not if you’re Sean Conway. On 12th April this year, he’s going to try once again to break the Guinness World Record for the fastest crossing of Europe by bicycle.

Starting from Cabo de Roca on the west coast of Portugal, Sean will attempt to cycle 4,500 miles across Europe finishing at Ufa in Russia in less than 25 days. The attempt will be unsupported meaning Sean will carry all of his own kit. To put distance into perspective, it’s over double the distance ridden at last year’s Tour de France (2,200 miles) in roughly the same amount of time (Le Tour 2017 was over 23 days).

The current record stands at 29 days, 18 hours and 25 minutes and Sean is looking to knock over 4 days off the record. In order to do this, he’ll need to cycle around 180 miles each day.

Another exciting addition to this new attempt is Sean’s bike. He will be riding a “Stanforth Conway” bike which he recently launched alongside UK based bike manufacturer, Stanforth Bikes. The bike is designed for speedy touring and is hand built in the UK using Reynolds 853 steel.



Through challenges like this, Sean is always looking to encourage more people to get outdoors and enjoy a more active lifestyle, especially one on two wheels. He will need to embrace local cultures as he travels through each country and in the more remote areas, he will be almost entirely reliant on local people to help him to find food and water.  He’s travelling with a range of language cards that will help him communicate with people to find food, water and a place to sleep.

Sean is not new to challenges like these. In 2015 he became the first and only man in history to cycle, swim and run the length of Britain and if that wasn’t enough, in 2016 he completed a 4,000 mile ultra-triathlon which circumnavigated the entire coast of Britain. Sean began his adventures in 2012 when he set out to break the World Record for the fastest circumnavigation of the world by bicycle. Despite being in the lead, sadly he was knocked off his bike in America.

We chatted to Sean about his decision to give the record another go:

“I admit, I got things wrong last time. My self-esteem was really low at the end of last summer when I had to withdraw, but I picked myself up and thought long and hard about whether I should give this another go – what if I didn’t succeed again?

“The point is, too often people feel that if they don’t succeed with something then they have to give up. We are so used to hearing about success stories, what is often missed off is how many attempts they took to get there in the first place. Life is not all about winning and breaking records, it’s about giving things the very best shot that you can, and being confident that you could not have done any more.

“That said, I’m determined to break this World Record and I’ve been putting in a lot of work to help me achieve my goal. I’ve completed a world first and a world’s furthest but this is my first shot at a world’s fastest record and I can’t wait to get going.”

We are delighted to once again be Sean’s title sponsor for the record. We will be keeping you updated on his progress which you can follow via his live tracker. 

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