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Derry endurance cyclist Joe Barr attempts to break his own world record for Malin-Mizen-Malin

Veteran endurance cyclist Joe Barr
The Irish News

AFTER months of lockdown veteran world ultra cyclist king Joe Barr will today attempt to break his own world record to race from Malin-Mizen-Malin.

No matter what the weather, at 4pm today the county Derry man will embark from Donegal on his gruelling 738-mile journey in an attempt to break his record time of of 48 hrs, 38 mins, 47 secs.

When Team Joe Barr, in association with White's Oats, set out their 2020 schedule, Barr, (61) was set for a year-long race calendar which would see him undertake five physically- and mentally-gruelling races on a global stage to compete for the most coveted title of all – ‘Overall World Cup Winner of Endurance Cycling'.

But the dreadful Covid-19 pandemic put his best-laid plans on hold.

But the Derry cyclist never shirked on training, keeping up his physical and nutritional programme, knowing that when

the time came he would be ready and able to get back out on the bike.

“This year was meant to be a huge year for myself and my team but obviously when a global pandemic strikes there isn't much anyone can do to change the situation quickly,'' said Barr.

''With restrictions in place it might have been easy to let my fitness slip but being 61, I knew I had to persevere and come out of lockdown stronger and fitter than before.

''The last few months have proved to me the importance of loving and enjoying what you do and I have been raring to get back on my bike and challenge myself once again to reach even further and push myself harder.

''What better way to get back on the road than to attempt to break your own world record.''

“To be able to get back to cycling on home soil is something I'm very grateful for, and the Malin to Mizen route is one that always excites me.

''From the most northerly point in Ireland to the most southerly point and back again, it'll be a challenge but one that I am very ready for.

''The weather may not be in my favour, but I won't let that change my mindset.

''I'm coming to the starting line on the back of a fantastic year last year, winning the World Ultra Cycling Association Cup for my age category (60-69), so I am delighted to be able to get back on track with this record-breaking attempt.”

Danielle McBride, (brand manager at White's Oats) said: “We couldn't be happier that Team Joe Barr is ready to get back on the road after lockdown.

''Joe and his team had an amazing year in 2019, putting Irish cycling on the map globally and we were honoured to be a part of his journey.

''Joe's commitment to excellence, performance and success has remained steadfast and we will be cheering him on every step of the way.”

To follow Team Joe Barr's journey full tracking is available at http://live.primaltracking.com/reachingfurther/

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