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CYCLING

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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CYCLING

VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021

Demand for bicycles has soared in Europe during the coronavirus pandemic, but conversely the global supply is at record low levels, with consumers having to wait months or over a year for their bike of choice.

VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021
Photo: Stocksnap/Pixabay

Bikes are projected to outsell cars in Europe by two to one by 2030.   

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On the flip side, bike production in China, which supplies almost the entire global market, has practically ground to a halt.

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