Armstrong endorsement sees support for British cyclist soar

James Bowthorpe on track for record

British cyclist James Bowthorpe has received a major boost in his bid to break the record for cycling around the world: support from Lance Armstrong.

Since the Texan's endorsement on Twitter early this morning, Bowthorpe's number of followers has shot up, which hopefully means he'll raise lots more for his chosen charity, What's Driving Parkinson's.

And it's still the middle of the night in the US, so many more people could hear about his epic trip when they wake up.

Shortly before 2am, Armstrong posted the following 'tweet' on his Twitter page: "Twitterati, check out Globecycle. James is riding around the world (yes, the planet Earth) to raise funds to fight Parkinson's. Noble man."

Bowthorpe soon responded, saying: "I am honoured to be mentioned by Lance Armstrong, many thanks to him. I will write a blog first thing telling any newcomers what's up. Sleep now."

Armstrong has 1,758,127 followers on Twitter, while at noon today Bowthorpe had 1,924, so the celebrity endorsement could have a major impact in terms of support for his round-the-world trip.

Michael Asberry of Santos, makers of Bowthorpe's belt-driven Travelmaster bike, said: "James's number of followers is going through the roof – there's no other way to describe it."

Bowthorpe, 31, is well on track to break the record for cycling around the world of 194 days 17 hours set by Mark Beaumont last year. He hopes to finish within a month.

Seven-time Tour de France winner Armstrong is in Scotland, where he invited hundreds of his Twitter followers to join him for a ride in Paisley yesterday. He is on his way to the Tour of Ireland which begins on Friday.

You can follow BikeRadar on Twitter at twitter.com/bikeradar.

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