Cyclist Stef rolled out of record books

A DENTON cyclist has been denied a place in the record books despite breaking a previous mark.

For unbeknown to him, someone rode further at the same time!

Stef Drakopoulos felt on top of the world after riding an astonishing 47.9 kilometres in an hour during his record attempt.

Doing it on rollers rather than a fixed unit, he aimed to take his place in history and actually did it.

After a shaky start – literally as he wobbled on the rollers – the barber powered his way through to set a new mark as he did it to raise money for Dementia UK.

But as he waited for confirmation that he would be in the Guinness Book of Records, he was dealt the shattering blow that someone in Italy had attempted the same thing and gone even further.

Nonetheless, the 46-year-old, who was cheered on by plenty of people including 10-year-old son Luka, still has the UK record and is proud of his efforts, even though they made him virtually collapse and led to an interesting ride home to his Haughton Hall Road base from his sponsors CGB Horizal in Bredbury.

Stef said: “I had to ride up the hill to get back into Denton – that was fun!

“Honestly, it was like I’d never been up it before but that showed the effects of what I’d just done.

“Looking back now, I can say it was great but at the time it wasn’t, especially getting started.

“Under the rules, you had to have one foot down on the floor and when I set off, I almost fell off the rollers!

“So I started again and once I got going it was fine.

“I was being given checkpoints about how far I’d gone on 15, 30 and 45 minutes from my coach and my partner, so I knew whether I was on schedule or not but at the end I didn’t know just how far I’d gone.

“Even so, at the end I just crumpled in a heap – I had cramp in both legs, to the point where I couldn’t get my shoes off!

“And it was hard and because it was an enclosed space with so many people, including my partner and son plus a few of the sponsors’ staff, around me, pretty hot too.

“Plus it was relatively still, so there wasn’t much of a breeze.

“I basically just went on the floor and needed as much water as possible at the time. Thankfully Luka was on hand.

“But I was made up that I beat the old mark and we sent everything off to the Guinness Book of Records for verification.

“However, we were told that someone had done it at the same time and rode further – I still have the UK record though.”

To break the existing world record, Stef had to cycle more than 45 kilometres (31 miles) in 60 minutes.

The former cyclist for a Belgium-based team, who first took it up seriously as a 17-year-old, decided to take up the challenge last year as his partner’s father may have the condition and complications related to it took the life of his coach’s father.

Stef, who works at Hair by Fraser on Manchester Road, was originally going to attempt the record to raise funds for Diabetes UK but a change of sponsor meant a change of cause.

And seeing how dementia affected people close to him meant Dementia UK was an obvious choice.

Now he has recovered, by getting on his bike and putting more miles in, thoughts are turning to what he is going to attempt next.

But first things first, get in and donate the hundreds of pounds he raised for Dementia UK.

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