Simon's on his bike for round-world record bid
AN IRISHMAN is hoping to enter the record books by winning the first around-the-world bicycle race.
Simon Hutchinson (24) has signed up for the World Cycle Racing Grand Tour which will cover 28,800 kilometres in just five months.
At the end of the gruelling competition, the winner's name will be entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for the fastest circumnavigation of the globe by bicycle.
Along the way, Simon is aiming to raise as much money as possible in aid of epilepsy.
Starting in London on February 18, competitors are given just 154 days to race around the world from the city's Greenwich Park.
They will finish at the park in time for the Olympics, which begin on July 27.
It is being organised to generate as much media attention as possible and create a "fantastic lead-in story before the Olympics begin", according to Simon, from Bailieborough, Co Cavan.
"I hope to break the current world record set by the American Bruce Gordon, which stands at 154 days -- 10 days faster than the previous record.
"I plan to cycle 140 out of the 154 days, averaging 129 miles or 206km per day, using the remainder of my time to fly/ferry when I have to and also for the occasional day of rest.
"My route will bring me east taking in at least 21 countries," he says.
"I am the only Irish competitor and hope to fly the flag for my country, raise money for epilepsy and bring home the record to Irish soil," he adds.
Last year, Simon helped raise over €10,000 for Haiti by taking part in charity cycle from Dublin back to Bailieborough.
Donations in aid of Brainwave: the Irish Epilepsy Association can be made by visiting www.mycharity.ie/event/simonsepiccycle.