Londoner Tom Davies, 19, becomes 'youngest person to cycle the world'

Tom Davies

A British teenager is thought to have become the youngest person to cycle around the world.

Tom Davies, 19, from Battersea, finished an 18,000-mile journey on Sunday raising more than £50,000 for several charities.

Around 100 of his family and friends welcomed him home.

During the six months he was away, he had to run away from a group of monkeys, was chased by dogs in Albania and raced an emu in Australia.

Tom Davies

After arriving at the finish line in Battersea, he told the Press Association: "I've just cycled around the world. It's the best feeling.

"It's been a lot of pain, a lot of suffering, so it's amazing to finish."

Tom had to cycle for up to 100 miles a day to make it around the world in all types of weather conditions.

Family, friends and supporters kept up to date with what he was doing on his blog.

Tom Davies with his sister Anna, dad Huw and mum Alison
Image caption Tom Davies drinks a bottle of beer with his sister Anna, dad Huw and mum Alison

The money he raised will go to Prostate Cancer UK and Carney's Community, which works with disadvantaged young people.

It'll also help the Sohana Research Fund, set up to support Sohana Collins, 13, who suffers from Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa, or RDEB.

Nicknamed the Butterfly Disease, it's an incurable and often fatal illness which causes the skin to blister.

Tom Davies and mum Alison

"I met Sohana herself and it's just inspirational what she goes through every day," said Tom, who was in tears after finishing.

"I've had a hard seven months but she puts up with it her whole life.

"My legs are tired. It's hard. Snow, rain, wind, hills, other drivers.

Tom Davies
Image caption Tom Davies in Poole ahead of riding back to London on the final leg of his world cycle ride

"I'm going to give my legs a couple of days off but I'll be back on the bike soon."

His mum Alison said she and her husband Huw, a lawyer in commercial law, worried constantly about their son but said they were proud of what he'd achieved.

She said: "He had a few hairy moments, like being chased by dogs in Albania.

"He recovered from it OK, although I think his heart was pounding a bit.

Tom Davies in Battersea before leaving
Image caption Tom Davies in Battersea before leaving
Tom Davies
Image caption Tom takes a lunch break in Beaulieu-Sur-Mer outside Nice in France
Tom Davies
Image caption Tom says he took this photo after being chased by dogs in Albania
Tom Davies
Image caption Tom Davies arrives in Istanbul at the end of his first leg
Tom Davies
Image caption Tom Davies relaxes on the beach in Mumbai, India, on his second leg
Malaysia sign
Image caption Tom arrives in Malaysia on the third leg of his trip

"There was a very special moment when he found himself riding alongside an emu in Australia. The emu was right next to him and running parallel.

"It certainly isn't just any gap year. We are incredibly proud. It feels a bit surreal, Tom certainly feels it is surreal."

Tom Davies' bike
Image caption Tom broke his first spoke in Australia
Tom Davies
Australian road sign
Sydney Opera House
Image caption Tom arrives at the Sydney Opera House at the end of his fifth leg
Tom Davies
Image caption Tom Davies opposite a dormant vineyard on his sixth and final leg in New Zealand

Tom says he plans to study materials engineering at Loughborough University later this year.

He spent years preparing for his journey, and while the Guinness Book of Records hasn't verified that he's the youngest ever person to complete the trip, it's believed he could be.

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