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– Three minutes to go. It’s getting nervous, can he do it? James MacDonald is going
to attempt to break the world record for cycling
nonstop for 24 hours. And he’s chosen here,
the Newport Velodrome as the place to do it. But can he do it? (cheers) – [James] My knees are
starting to get sore. – He’s going to do it. – You need to focus because
this is the difference between a world record and a good goal. – Don’t try this at home. – I’m currently en route to the Velodrome in Newport, South Wales. Throughout my career this is the Velodrome I trained and raced at. And I’ve got to say it’s
bringing back a lot of memories. Actually, that’s where I
used to go to the toilet before a race, but I’m
not back here for me. I’m back here to witness
a world record attempt. The record James is trying
to beat is 585.2 miles 941.8 kilometers all ridden
in the space of 24 hours. 941.8 kilometers all ridden
in the space of 24 hours. This record was set by Christoph Strasser, on the 14th to the 15th
of October in 2017. Christoph Strasser is an
Austrian ultra-cyclist. Probably the best ultra-cyclist
of his generation. He won the Race Across
America an insane six times. So this record is going to be
really, really tough to beat. But before he embarks
on this epic challenge, I think we should get to
know the man behind it all. Now James I’m right in saying that, well, breaking records isn’t your day job. – No, I work full time,
this is just a hobby. – That’s some hobby. So you literally work a nine to five job and by night you’re
breaking records basically. – Yeah, I have to try to fit in
my training which is difficult sometimes you know, I did
cycling from a young age. I always enjoyed it, when I
was younger I did a lot of BMX and but I got injured and I was told I had to give up on that and when I was about 17,
so I took up road cycling just usual, amateur club
racing, time trials and so on. But I gave that up a little bit so when I was at university
and early in career and really just sort of picked it up again when I was about 35. Where I am now probably started from doing John o’ Groats to Land’s End
for the first time in 2011. And then I realized that
actually the long distance stuff is quite suited to me. After 2013, when the last
of the three end to ends, that’s started to look
at how technology can help endurance sports and
started to read up about it and the company I work for,
Cisco, we’re sort of starting to move into the IoT space
looking at telemetry and sensors in all sorts of different verticles and sports was really of interest to me. And I really wanted to
see what we could do with new technology, things
were starting to come out about body worn sensors they
were just being developed. So that was were the idea came. Let’s put technology together
because the greater insights will surely no doubt
help an athlete perform either higher performance level or be more reliable which
is the thought behind using technology to do
the Race Across America. Because the rate of people
failing is really high and they usually fail because they’re not
pacing themselves properly that’s where once I put
the two things together 20 odd months ago I phoned Tim Wade a idea and said this is what
I was thinking of doing, we’ve done some initial
tests but the premise is can we use the technology
to get me across the line. – So I’ve known James for about five years and this isn’t his first mad escapade. – [James] From what I’ve heard is that it definitely not going
to be the last either. – No it’s not I’m sure but he
won’t tell you that right now. Yeah, probably ask him in a month’s time once he’s done the event maybe it’ll be a different answer. But yeah so he’s done
a few different things. He’s did the Race Across America and that was sort of where
I first got to know him. And it was a similar thing there you know he was going
to ride for 3,000 miles And the request was, the thinking was how do
we help his sport team make smarter decisions you know. Is he, how is he doin is he
keeping and sustaining his power what’s his heart rate like,
all that sort of stuff. So we worked together
and created the solution that enabled the guys in the court to have that data in real time. And that enabled them to,
well I mean he finished it. What we’re doing is we’re tryna help James’ performance team
make decisions on the fly while James is doing the record attempt. So if you can imagine he’s
going to be on the track so how do we get that information from him to the performance coach
so they can say yeah. – If you could consume
some fuel for his please. – Go faster, go slower, you know, power up power down whatever
whatever he needs to do. – Use data, use information, allow the team to make the right choices around my pace, and nutrition,
calories burned and so on. And so they will watch
that with all the data they look at everything and then they can make a judgment call just like they do in formula one you know. They have a bunch of
engineers back in a factory all looking at the telemetry,
what the cars doing and then they will check everything and then they will highlight any issues. And that’s really what we’re doing here. The sensors are under the track, so the normal Apple
sensors that you would have like your heart rate
monitor, you parameter, go directly to the sensors in the track. – This is truly an incredible challenge. And to be quite honest I
am really nervous for him. I find it difficult just to
sit on the bike for 24 hours let alone ride around in circles
at 40 kilometers per hour with the ambition of riding
945 kilometers in one go. The bike of choice for this record is this the BMC Track Machine TR01. Interestingly he’s gone from massive 62 tooth chain reel on the front and he’s gone for 17 on the back. Which equates to a 98 inch gear. The reason for the big chain rings is because the efficiency in a big bigs so that means that the angle the chain has to travel is a lot smoother. He’s also got look exact pedals which the SR round ones so he’ll
be able to track his power. He’s going to have three Garmins so that he can see exactly the
time, not three on the bike, but he’s going to be able to swap them because Garmins don’t work forever. Also he’s got two disc wheels,
he’s got the Mavic Comet and these are probably the
most aerodynamic track wheels out there so he’s got these on board. And he’s pumped his tires up to 140 PSI in both front and rear. One last thing, he’s got a
sticker on the top chute. Take the risk or lose the chance. Something that I’ve been wondering is how James is going to be able to fuel his body during this attempt. Remember, he can’t stop and at that rate he’s going to be burning a lot of calories and it is going to be imperative that he keeps his energy stores topped up. After all, this could be the difference between breaking the record and not. – We spoke with nutritionists
and physiologists and we also looked at James’
power and heart rate data to get a starting data
point of how many calories we think James is going to burn and then once we put that in practice out on the road and then on the track we then discovered that those calories was just a data point and James’s stomach you know it can only take so much food and we started winding the calories down and to come up with the
number we’re working with now for him on the track. These are his pureed baby food. So we got a few different flavors here and just different numbers in calories. For each pouch so that we do have the plan of what he’s going to eat per hour but it might come that perhaps he doesn’t want the gel so we
know that we got some other – [James] Normal foods. – Yep, other foods there. – The biggest challenge is actually keepin him moving so like you know like stopping for toilet
breaks so if we stop– – [James] Have you got
a strategy for that? – Yes, we’ve got a toilet it’s
going to be right on track site a little tent that he can jump in. – So he’s a bit like Bambi when comes off the bike he’s
a bit unsteady on his feet so somebody will take the bike. We have to leave it where he comes off and get him back on the track. Someone will then help him which probably, its usually me, enter the toilet, someone else is in the toilet, we will change the battery, take the opportunity to change the battery on his packs for his communications. If he needs eyedrops things like that then he gets to do these things. If he needs any painkillers, Paracetamol– – [James] Chamois cream? – Chamois cream he does that.
(James laughs) We’re committed but we’re not there. – The scene is set for this
24 hour record attempt. We’ve got 15 minutes till go time. And its pretty tense
in here I have to say. Everyone’s feeling the nerves for James and now I wonder what’s going
through his head right now as he embarks on this truly insane effort. (suspenseful music) (clock beeps) (crowd cheering) – And he’s off. 24 hours to go what is going
through his mind right now? So it’s one lap down now its time for him to get in the zone. After all, he’s got a long way to go. It’s all about getting
in that nice position relaxing, after all, all
the preparation is done and it’s now up to him,
the bike, and the record. In order for James to break this record, he needs to cover more than 3,767 laps his team has worked out that with his customary aerodynamic skin suit and aerodynamic bike, he needs to average a
whooping 213 to 217 watts. Now this doesn’t sound a lot, but after 24 hours that is some feat. 14 laps down, he’s settling
in to a nice rhythm now but the question is can he hold it, can he hold 40 kilometers per hour for that looming 24 hours. It’s been around five
minutes and to be honest, I’m getting tired already. (dramatic music) 561 laps down and James has
just scratched the surface of his 24 hour record attempt. And to be quite honest, I’m absolutely shattered
just watching him. I don’t know how he’s doing this. And what do you think of for 24 hours. Hi James, how you feeling? – [James] Oh, I’ve felt fresher. – [James] What’s goin
through your head right now. – [James] Lots of things. Yeah I’m a little, trying to focus. It’s so hard when you
compare it to training rides. It’s quite hard to breathe– – I heard that Gary in the beginning say imagine your on a road in Mallorca with the sun on your back
and the wind in your hair. Does that kind of help when you’re riding? – [James] Yeah it’s
gone from disassociation to association so and
you’re focus in on the track on the rides so, then that’s one thing but then you can drift off and think about where I’ve been, and I like riding through Monument Valley, across Kansas, you know the
feeling what that’s like having a never-ending road
where you see the horizon 50 miles away so that’s pretty
much what this is like really especially if you don’t
look in the corners – How’re you feeling the position, are you quite happy sitting there or do you need to stretch
every now and again? – Well, the stretching
you’ll first see me do is mainly I try to move
around get that blood flow. mainly I try to move
around get that blood flow. – [James] Well you’re doing incredible and keep smashing it, mate. – [James] Thanks, man. – [James] James has just
completed 1,000 laps. I’m with Gary his coach. Gary, what’s been goin on
for the last 1,000 laps? – Yeah, had an amazing start. Where we’re at right
now is fuel strategies being absolutely bang on, so he’s managed to digest all the food and we just had a really
rocky hour for the last hour and we just lost a wee bit of time. So right now we are sitting
about 1.1 kilometers behind the world record, so
in order to make that back up we’ve got to take keep
him top of it right away and so we’ve increased his
cadence from a 86 to 87 he’s now sitting at 88 to
89 and we need to do this for at least the next one hour and we’re going to be clawing back about 10 meters per lap at that. 80 revs, 10 meters per lap. Come on mate, come on! We believe in you mate, come on. Everything you got just hold 88. Come on James (cheers). – We’ve lost half a kilometer now since we’ve started this we’re
going to go faster with James. Over and above. – How do we, what’s going to work for him? What’s going to get him going? Just give it everything you got. We believe in you, James. You’ve got the capabilities of doing this. Go get on then, go and catch him. – 24 hours in the saddle, ouch. How do you stay comfortable? Well his coach says he’s
just got to get on with it and add a lot of Chamois cream. Yeah, rather him than me. Go on, James (claps). (upbeat music) He’s been going round for
8 hours over 1,000 laps. And to be honest, it’s
making me pretty sleepy. Still going its coming up
to 11:20 in the evening. Grab myself a coffee I guess its time that we go check in with Gary and find out how he’s getting on. Right, Gary, I’ve had
a little bit of a break it’s, well he’s done 1,652 laps. It’s 11:30, I’m feeling pretty tired, but what’s going on, what’s happening, how’s he looking, how’s he feeling? – Well, I think we had
that small situation and unfortunately James had a crash. – A crash? He stopped? – [Gary] Yep. – You kiddin me. So is his world record out the window? – We’ve got a plan b. – Now James has changed tactic and he’s goin for the
1,000 kilometer challenge currently held by Marko
Baloh and with a time of 27 hours 31 minutes and
nine seconds held in 2010 and he averaged a speed of
36.34 kilometers per hour. Now James has stopped for
23 minutes during the crash and the bandages James has
lost all his stoppage time. Meaning he is going to be on the bike from now on all the way up
until 3:30 PM the next day. James, can you let us know
how the incident happened and what the plan is moving forward now? – [James] Yeah, well earlier in the day it was really hot and I
poured some of the water down my back to try to
cool me a little bit and I went off line when I did it in case anyone on the track and then quite a bit later
on I moved up onto that line to just because you move
around a little bit sometimes. – Yeah, of course. – [James] And I was out of the saddle and the front wheel hit that and just completely went away from me. Took about 20 meters to stop. – [James] That’s never fun,
sliding across a track. – [James] At 40 kilometers an hour, yeah. – [James] And then you kind of sat down. Was there a big feeling
of what happens now? – [James] Well when I
finally came to a stop, I figured out how I was going
to get out from under my bike yeah I sat down and so
you know any stoppage is just a real killer for average Peter. And I was already behind and
so I just fell out of it. But there apparently now there’s a plan b. – How are you feeling about that? Is that another tall order, well what’s your, what’s
goin through your mind? – [James] Well you don’t
have to be quite so quick for apparently and I’m doing this, today. (James laughing) And it is quite a lot bit further. And so trying to get the head around of being not finishing
at mid day but later. And my knees are starting to get sore ’cause you know obviously
repetitive the repetition. – [James] It’s now coming up
to 12 o’clock in the evening. But he’s not got a 24 hour challenge, he’s now got a 27 hour challenge ahead. He’s not even halfway, this is a battle of
endurance and mind power. It’s currently 9:15, I
didn’t leave the Velodrome until 12:30 1 o’clock last night. Let’s go and find out
how he’s getting on now. Oh he’s going to be tired now. What, where is everyone? Hello, hello, hello? Having arrived at the
Velodrome to find it empty. I later found out that unfortunately, James had to stop at around 2 a.m the reason being he was just
finding it too unbearable to sit in that position
after the big crash. – It didn’t go to plan
around 8 hours into it I came off the bike very
quickly at 40 k’s an hour. And ‘fore I knew it I was
sliding along the track figuring out how to stop. – It was a huge emotional investment and a whole project to even
just get to the start line and I can you feel it
form ’cause you can see the disappointment there. – There’s no recovery here
so in a multi day event where you have at least, well outside you’ve got
hills and maybe tailwinds but there’s no recovery,
zero recovery here. – He’s a fighter right up to the end and you can see the air he did himself and that’s like all that I
know James will be happy with and as a coach that’s all
you ask for of your athletes. So it was a tough one it was
really really tough watching, pulling there to the finish but ultimately he gave it his all. – We’ve learned so much
about the nutrition about the pacing, I am
the fittest and strongest I’ve ever been in my life and yeah I wish I had this
fitness when I did RAM. But it’s, we’ve learned a huge amount in the last 20 months. – Of course we’re going to go home and sit down and evaluate the performance and look at ways of moving forward. But not, James is a fighter and I’m sure he’ll be back in he’ll be on the phone in a couple of days with some other new project. – There is an awful lot of
things I’ve managed to do thankfully that I wasn’t sure
about every step of the way and with the right help
and support and dedication yeah you can absolutely surprise yourself. – Wow, what a ride. Has this inspired you to do something or even try something incredible? If it has then let us know
in the comment section below. And if you’ve enjoyed going along this emotional roller coaster with us, then make sure you give
this video a big thumbs up. And for more GCN action why
don’t you click over there.

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