Former cycle courier Matthew Page

Former cycle courier attempts to break North Coast 500 ultra-cycling record

Matthew Page will attempt to break the iconic North Coast 500 cycling world record of 28 hours and 35 minutes, currently held by renowned ultra-cyclist Mark Beaumont.

Starting out from Inverness, Matthew will ride the same route that Mark took when setting the current Fastest Known Time for Scotland’s answer to Route 66 in September 2022.

Matthew will set off on Monday 22nd or Tuesday 23rd May 2023, weather depending.

He will be aiming to better Mark’s average speed of 18.2mph (29.2kph) for the 516-mile (~830km) circular route, which includes a brutal 32,000ft (9,754m) of climbing.

LIVE TRACKING: Follow and share live tracking of Matthew’s FKT attempt here:

From cycle courier to MTB racer…

After years of being an enthusiast rider, Matthew became a cycle courier in Cardiff in 2008. Riding ~100 miles a day for four days a week in a hilly city enhanced Matthew’s endurance engine considerably.

He went on to race full-time as a sponsored athlete for Wiggle, specialising in 24-hour solo mountain biking. He won the 2009 Mountain Mayhem 24-hour Solo race and the 2010 24-hour Solo British MTB Championships.

Matthew was unfortunately forced to stop racing in 2013 due to a condition called External Iliac Artery Endofibrosis (EIAE) in his leg.

The injury affected Matthew’s ability to put out hard, fast efforts, so he moved towards triathlon (finishing 2nd in the 2016 Celtman Extreme Triathlon) before taking on more ultra-endurance cycling challenges.

The NC 500 FKT Attempt

The 38-year-old is no stranger to breaking records on two wheels as he previously set FKTs for the 100-mile (160km) Trans Cambrian Way and the 220-mile (350km) King Alfred’s Way in 2022.

Matthew has prepared for the North Coast 500 FKT attempt by taking on numerous ultra-distance audax events during the past 12 months, including being the first rider to complete last year’s 947-mile (1,525km) London-Edinburgh-London Audax.

Ahead of his latest challenge, Matthew said: “After riding parts of the NC 500 during the Celtman Triathlon in 2016, I fell in love with the area and returned to complete the full route, self-supported over three days, in August 2021. Ever since then, I’ve been planning to return and attempt the FKT.”

Matthew’s NC 500 support team

Matthew is unable to drive which makes getting from his home in Wales to the start line in Scotland a challenge! He’s indebted to the support of his crew who will be joining him for his FKT attempt, especially his (extremely understanding!) wife Nia and friend David.

Matthew has been working with Saddleback to ensure he’s using elite performance kit, gear and equipment in his bid to break the NC 500 record.

And because nutrition will form such a critical part of the challenge, he’s been refining his nutrition strategy for the NC 500 with the Sports Science team at Precision Fuel & Hydration, who will be providing Matthew with gels, electrolytes and on-course support during the attempt.

Filmmaker Tom Wragg of Helium Media will be documenting Matthew’s NC 500 FKT attempt for a short documentary.

Matthew’s achievements

  • 2009 – Winner, Mountain Mayhem 24hr solo winner
  • 2010 – Winner, 24hr Solo MTB British championships
  • 2016 – 2nd, Celtman Extreme Triathlon
  • 2021 and 2022 – Trans Cambrian Way FKT
  • 2022 – King Alfred’s Way FKT
  • 2022 – First rider to complete London-Edinburgh-London Audax (1,525 km in 67 hours and 10 minutes

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