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VN ticker: Coker crushes 24-hour record, Beppu retires, Pozzato hospitalized with COVID

Here's the news making headlines for Saturday, November 6.

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Amanda Coker crushes 24-hour record

Amanda Coker has eclipsed the record for furthest distance ridden in 24 hours by covering 512.5 miles (824km) in a daylong open road ride.

Coker, who races as part of the multi-format Twenty24 team, crushed the previous record of 439 miles and became the first woman to crack the 500-mile mark. She cycled repeats of an out-and-back 28.4-mile road in Florida on Friday.

The North Carolinan scored a total of 11 world records – subject to approval by WUCA [World Ultra Cycling Association] officials – in her one effort.

“After months of planning, training, prep work, and research, my dream to be the first woman in history to break 500 miles in 24 hours came true!” she said.

“The first twelve hours flew by so quickly … I concentrated on settling into a smooth and steady rhythm, focusing on getting calories in early and keeping my caffeine levels even. During the day I had one headphone in listening to music, which is allowed within WUCA rules, and I could hear all the notification dings from my friends, family, teammates, athletes, sponsors, and followers. Even though I couldn’t see the messages it definitely helped boost my drive just hearing them!”

Coker, 29, holds six other Guinness World Records:

  • World Record holder – 8,012 miles ridden in 30 days – 276 miles per day
  • World Record holder – 86,573.2 miles ridden in a year – Fastest woman
  • World Record holder – 86,573.2 miles ridden in a year – Fastest overall
  • World Record holder – 100,000 miles ridden in 423 days – Fastest woman
  • World Record holder – 100,000 miles ridden in 423 days – Fastest overall
  • World Record holder – Florida 500 – 533 miles in 27:27 hours

Japanese veteran Fumiyuki Beppu retires

The pioneering Japanese pro Fumiyuki Beppu has called time on his 17-year career.

Beppu, 38 has raced with Discovery Channel, Radio Shack, Orica GreenEdge, and many more in his two decades in the peloton, and competed in all three grand tours. He saw his last year of racing with EF Education-Nippo, where he struggled for race days and missed selection for the Toyko Olympics.

“Every year has been a year to renew contracts, and I haven’t had the time to look back at all. And in 2020, with the effects of the pandemic and the changes in modern cycling teams, the things that I used to take for granted were no longer the norm,” he wrote on social media this week.

“Cycling has become a far cry from the freedom I used to love, and I find myself looking back at the past more and more When I realized this, I knew that this was the end of my chapter as a professional racer, and it was time to turn a new page.

“After this season, I will end my career as a professional racer.”

Beppu blazed a trail for many Japanese riders behind him by moving to Europe to seek a career in pro racing.

“It has already been 20 years since I left Japan for France after graduating from high school to become a professional cyclist, a dream I had since I was a child,” he wrote. “At that time, there were no Japanese professional cyclists, so I did not know how to become a professional cyclist in Europe, and I was groping my way up the invisible ladder one by one.”

Beppu went on to explain that though his thirst for racing has dwindled, he hopes to remain in the sport in other ways.

“In the future, I would like to use my experience to become a bridge between Japan and Europe. I plan to work as a ‘cycling promoter’ who promotes, educates, promotes, and fosters cycling,” he said.

“I will continue to ride a bicycle, though at a different speed. I’ve lived my life as an athlete, and if I don’t live my life in a more exciting and challenging way than before, I will cease to be me.”


Filippo Pozzato hospitalized with COVID

Filippo Pozzato has been struck with a severe case of COVID-19.

The former Milano-Sanremo winner was unvaccinated but due to receive his injection just two days before he was admitted to hospital in Vicenza at the end of last month.

“You hear people say that the coronavirus is nothing, but that is not true. I couldn’t get up. I don’t have an oxygen mask yet, but if it gets worse they’ll put one on me,” Pozzato told La Gazzetta Dello Sport.

“Why hadn’t I been vaccinated before? Because I have always felt strong, I have been among people who had done COVID and nothing had ever happened to me, and because I was always at full speed with racing, and I had decided to do it later. I was stupid, and I took a good beating.”

Pozzato, 40, raced with Mapei, Quick-Step, Katusha, Lampre and many more before he retired in 2018. He recently turned his eye toward race organization and debuted his new series of pro road and gravel races in the Veneto region of Italy this autumn.

“For the past few days my fever went away, but my oxygen saturation dropped. I couldn’t even stand up and they brought me here,” he said. “I’ve always been healthy, I’ve never caught anything, but the COVID knocked me unconscious.”

The team at VeloNews wish Pozzato a speedy recovery.