Cyclist set to finish round-the-world challenge ahead of schedule

Ultra-endurance cyclist Mark Beaumont is set to reclaim the world record for circumnavigating the globe one day ahead of schedule.

The adventurer is due to arrive in Paris on Monday afternoon, finishing his round the world in 80 days challenge on day 79.

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Inspired by Jules Verne's classic adventure novel Around The World In Eighty Days, Beaumont set off from under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on July 2.

He cycled through Europe, Russia, Mongolia and China, before his record attempt took him across Australia, New Zealand and North America.

He then arrived back in Europe for a final push from Lisbon to Paris.

SEE ALSO: Is this the world's thinnest cycle path?

Beaumont crossed the Spanish border on Saturday, making his way north east towards the French capital.

His Artemis World Cycle covers 18,000 miles, which means the Scot has had to complete 240 miles a day - spending 16 hours in the saddle - to stay on schedule.

In 2008, Beaumont completed a cycle around the globe in 194 days, setting a world record.

Since then, the record has been whittled down to 123 days by New Zealand's Andrew Nicholson.

Unlike his 2008 solo ride, he has been accompanied by a mechanic, nutritionist, physiotherapist and manager on this attempt.

Speaking at the start of his challenge, Beaumont said he spent three years creating a support team to deal with logistics, navigation and safety, allowing him to "purely focus on my performance and being an athlete".

"I don't think anyone has ever tried to go this fast and this far before and I have been building on my experience as an endurance rider over two decades to prepare for this journey," he said.

Amazing roads for adventurous drivers
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Amazing roads for adventurous drivers

Danger rating: 1/5

Hand carved by 13 villagers, this tunnel replaced a path of 720 mountain steps. Construction began in 1972 and took five years to complete using 4,000 hammers. Running through the Taihang Mountains, this tunnel is the primary passage for the people of Guoliang to the 'outside world'.

Danger rating: 1/5

Tokyo Bay Highway connects Kawasaki city with Kisarazu city with a bridge that seemingly disappears into the middle of the sea. In fact, what happens is that the 6.2 mile long bridge becomes a tunnel 200 feet below sea level, turning a 100km trip into a 15 minute journey for commuters. 

Danger rating: 1/5

At 28,000 miles long, the Pan American Highway is the world's longest road, connecting all of North, Central and South America. The official section runs from Laredo in north Mexico to Buenos Aires in Argentina, although there is no official route and the various branches can add up to over 30,000 miles. 

Danger rating: 1/5

From the longest, to the widest. With up to seven lanes in each direction, 140 metres wide, De Julio Avenue is the world's widest road and it was built to signify Argentina's independence day.

Danger rating: 2/5

Swindon's Magic Roundabout consists of five small roundabouts in a circle. Until the 1960s it was a normal roundabout but even at this time it was renowned for being difficult. In 2009 it was named the fourth scariest junction in Britain.

Danger rating: 2/5

Linking the towns of Kristiansund and Molde, the Atlantic Ocean Road has been acknowledged as one of the most scenic drives in the world. The road stretches over the Norwegian Sea although the waves often disturb it in storms. The beautiful scenery makes it popular for filming car adverts.

Danger rating: 2/5

This is the Atlantic of roads: at 2.5 miles long this road floods twice a day. The road connects the island of Noirmoutier to the mainland, the stone paved causeway was first used during the 16th century and is still used daily by tourists and locals. At high tide the road lies under 1.5 - 4 metres of water.

Danger rating: 2/5

At more than 7,000 miles long, the Trans Siberian is one of the longest roads in the world. While some parts are well built motorways, others have better described it as 'badly paved pathways' or 'The Ice Road'. Much of the drive will be relatively undisturbed by heavy rain, ice patches and snow storms added to avalanches and landslides can make for an eventful journey.

Danger rating: 3/5

The sheer cliff drop is perhaps not immediately noticed by drivers distracted by the stunning scenery. Despite its lack of guard rails, the road has a second name of 'million-dollar highway'. This is supposedly due to the high cost of building the road and the amount of gold and sliver removed to do so.

Danger rating: 3/5

This road is responsible for 17% of the national highway deaths in Australia. Beginning in Brisbane, the highway stretches up to Cairns making it around 1,050 miles long. Illegal overtaking is the primary cause of road accidents, with neglect from government maintenance also being an issue. 

Danger rating: 4/5

Carved by miners 140 years ago this 16.5 mile long road runs along a cliff face, with a sheer drop awaiting the driver who takes a turn in the wrong direction. This road is so dangerous that drivers need to hold a permit to drive along it. For those who are brave enough to try their luck it's worth bearing in mind your car insurance will be totally void...

Danger rating: 4/5

Dangerous roads take a whole different perspective when it comes to embarking upon the Jalalabad to Kabul Road. The road has been targeted in the past by Taliban in the form of pot-shots at cars, roadside bombs and kidnappings.

Danger rating: 4/5

Officially called the 'North Yungas Road' it has often been given the title of 'word's most dangerous road', acquiring its name from the 200 - 300 deaths it racks up every year. Stretching for 69km, at a height of 4,650 metres and vertical drops of up to 1,000 metres, a lot can go wrong.


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