Glasgow & West Scotland

Cyclist in Commonwealth challenge

Sean Newall
Image caption Sean Newall will cycle 20,000 miles taking in 72 countries of the Commonwealth

A Scots cyclist is attempting to visit all 72 countries competing in the Commonwealth Games before returning to new host city, Glasgow, in 2014.

Sean Newall, 27, from Larkhall, South Lanarkshire, cycled from Glasgow to India to attend the closing ceremony of the 2010 Games in Delhi.

It was the first stage of a 20,000 mile round-the-world bike ride.

Mr Newall is using the expedition - and three others - to raise cash for the United Nations children's fund, Unicef.

The first challenge, which Mr Newall has named World Cycle, involves a 20,000 mile round-the-world bike ride, taking in 13 Commonwealth countries.

He set off from Glasgow's George Square on 23 July and reached Delhi in time for the closing ceremony on Thursday.

The cyclist aims to return home on 23 May 2011, having visited countries in Europe, Asia and North and Central America.

During this time he also aims to complete a second 15,000-mile challenge - Cycle Africa - which will take in 17 other Commonwealth countries.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland, Mr Newall explained his motivation for doing the challenges.

"I wanted to be more involved with the Games, so, I thought this was a very exciting and interesting way of getting out there and finding out what the Commonwealth is." He said.

"I've been through Scotland, England, Holland, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan and then India.

"I'm doing this for Unicef's 'sports for development campaign', which uses sports projects to help educate children."

Atlantic pedal

Mr Newall said he had no major injury problems so far, but the biggest obstacles had been from lack of food and sleep and some extremely badly-maintained roads.

His third challenge - Atlantic Pedal - will see him use a bike and pedal boat to visit 14 islands, which are members of the Commonwealth.

The aim is to complete the route in eight months between late 2012 and July 2013, with the toughest challenge being an Atlantic crossing by pedal-powered boat.

The final leg of Mr Newall's journey - World Sail - will take 11 months between September 2013 and June 2014 and see him visit dozens of other Commonwealth nations.

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