Olympic champ Cracknell sets sights on End-to-End relay record

Plus amateur event planned for summer

James Cracknell (second from left) will join Phill Sykes, Steve Golla and Jerone Walters in the HotChillee End To End Challenge

Double Olympic rowing champion James Cracknell will attempt to set a world record for cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats this month.


But he won’t be riding the length of Great Britain solo – he’ll be riding as part of a three-man relay team, in the HotChillee End To End Challenge.

The aim is to set a LeJog relay record, which amateur cyclists will have a chance to beat in the HotChillee E2E Relay Challenge next summer.

Cracknell, who abandoned an attempt to break the End-to-End tandem record earlier this year after his partner Rebecca Romero suffered knee problems, will be joined on the team by time trial specialist Phill Sykes (VC St Raphael), elite road racer Steve Golla and his Sigma Sport team-mate Jerone Walters. They will set off on Saturday 17 October.

Charity rides typically take nine to 14 days to cover the 842-mile route. Team HotChillee are aiming for under 40 hours. One rider will always be on the road, with the other three resting in a support vehicle.

Cracknell, 37, who this year rode in the London-Paris Cycle Tour and L’Etape du Tour, said: “Cycling has become a huge part of my sporting life and setting a new world record from Land’s End to John O’Groats has been a goal of mine for a while.

“I’ve rowed across the Atlantic and skied to the South Pole but I know that cycling from one end of Britain to the other at world record pace will be my toughest challenge yet.”

The current record for the end-to-end ride by a single rider is held by ex-pro cyclist Gethin Butler, who covered the distance in 44 hours, four minutes and 20 seconds in 2001.

Cracknell’s team-mate Jerone Walters, 36, who was seventh in September’s British Time Trial Championships, said: “Having James Cracknell with us will add great experience and professionalism to this endurance challenge. Our average speed schedule is ambitious for 40 hours. We’re hoping for a howling tail wind.”

Sven Thiele, of HotChillee, the marketing and events company staging the record bid, said: “We’re proud to have a world-class athlete on our team. It’s going to be a tough challenge which will push them to the limit, mentally and physically. But we’re determined to achieve an inspiring performance on the UK’s classic long distance route.”


Supporters can follow the team’s progress at www.hotchillee.com.