Italian breaks world record for cycling globe

Paola Gianotti on Sunday became the world's fastest female cyclist to tour the globe, a feat achieved as a response to the financial crisis.

Italian breaks world record for cycling globe
The previous world record was set by a British-German cyclist in 2012. Cyclist photo: Shutterstock

Gianotti rode into Ivrea, north-west Italy, on Sunday after a 29,430km tour taking 144 days.

“The most beautiful finish line of my life!” she wrote on Facebook after arriving to crowds of supporters.

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Gianotti broke the world record set by Juliana Buhring, a British-German cyclist, who toured the globe in 152 days two years ago.

The 32-year-old Italian completed the tour despite having an accident in the US, prompting her to put the tour temporarily on hold, Gazzetta dello Sport said.

A sports enthusiast, Gianotti had been living in the village of Montalto before taking up the cycling challenge.

“Because of the economic crisis, my business closed and I said, ‘It’s now or never’. I rolled up my sleeves and began to plan the adventure,” she was quoted in Gazzetta dello Sport as saying.

She won €45,000 sponsorship from ten companies, after contacting 2,500 businesses. The high costs included a €20,000 campervan for Gianotti and her team to sleep in, plus €10,000 in flights for the group of three, the newspaper said.  

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