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James Cracknell's LEJOG record attempt abandoned less than 70 miles from John O'Groats

Unspecified safety issues force former Olympic champ and pilot Jerone Walters to stop riding

Olympic champion rower James Cracknell and time trial specialist Jerone Walters have failed in their attempt to set a new record for a men’s tandem ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

The pair were forced to stop riding just before 1.30 this morning with just 68.3 miles of the 842-mile journey left. At that point, they had ridden for 46 hours 26 minutes 16 seconds at an average speed of 16.7 miles per hour.

That suggests that it was going to be a very close run thing as they tried to beat the existing record of 54 hours 14 minutes 25 seconds, which has stood for 46 years, with the pair needing to ride the final 4 hours or so at a speed of just over 17 miles a hour.

However, a message on their page on the website Map My Tracks said: “We are very sorry to report we have had to abandon the LEJOG record attempt. Safety is our priority and we simply can’t continue.”

There is no news yet as to what it was that specifically forced the abandonment o the record attempt, named Rocket 2 team after the Terry Dolan-designed bike that Cracknell and Walters were riding, although their support crew tweeted that “James & Jerone are ok.”

It’s the second time that Cracknell, who suffered serious head injuries when he was hit by a truck while cycling in Arizona last year, has had to abandon a LEJOG record attempt.

In October 2009 he and Rebecca Romero were forced to stop riding when on course to beat the record after the women’s individual pursuit Olympic champion suffered swelling around the knee.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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