Round the world cyclist, Richard Dunnett has been at it again, this time in the Quick Energy Transcontinental Race from London to Istanbul.
Thirty-one cyclists from around the world set off from Westminster Bridge on Saturday, August 3, on the 2,000-mile, non-stop, unsupported race to Istanbul.
Competitors had to reach the Turkish city after traversing the whole of the European continent and set their own route with just four mandatory points — the start in London, the finish in Istanbul and two intermediate checkpoints, the Muur van Geraardsbergen in Flanders and the top of the Stelvio Pass in the Italian Alps.
The brains behind this epic challenge belong to Mike Hall, endurance racer and winner of last year’s round the world event, the World Cycle Race, in which Dunnett finished an impressive second.
Juliana Buhring from Italy, the fastest women to cycle round the world, was also a starter in an elite field of endurance cycling talent.
Dunnett, from Occold, was the second rider to reach both the intermediate checkpoints, but some navigation errors on the second day gave an advantage to Belgian rider Kristof Allegaert, which he was never to regain.
However, Dunnett’s round the world experience and stamina began to pay off coming into the fourth day and with only short sleep breaks he was able to build a comfortable lead on third place.
The 24-year-old had set himself a target of eight days, in excess of 220 miles every day, and despite another navigational detour at the end of day six, an incredible final push of 897km in 44 hours without any sleep saw Dunnett arrive at the finish in a time of eight days 15 hours and 50 minutes, taking a highly creditable second place overal and the first British rider to finish.
Kristof Allegaert was crowned overall winner after finishing in seven days 13 hours and 45 minutes, while third place went to Australian Matthew Wilkins, who clocked nine days nine hours and 37 minutes.