REBECCA Richardson has spoken of her pride after setting a new British cycling record.

The Llanfyllin cycling star smashed the existing Brecon Beacons circuit with 104 miles completed in just over five hours – a splendid reward for months of training in lockdown ahead of her successful attempt last weekend.

Rebecca said: ““I am elated to have a new provisional British Record under the Roads Record Association for the Brecon Beacons Circuit.

“It was a brilliant few hours on the bike, if a little hard.

“I was over the moon to complete the 104.5mile hilly course in 5hrs 3min 1sec, averaging 20.7mph.”

Hafren Cycling Club Juniors supported her attempt by doing a ‘match the Miles’ challenge where juniors went out and rode miles individually to see if they could match Rebecca.

“I’m best-known for the hill climb, but I love attritional road races. Through this challenge, I can vicariously live the life of a pro cyclist in races like the Strade Bianche.”

A comparative latecomer to elite cycling, she has wasted little time in making her mark. A road racer with Brother UK-Team OnForm and a Brother UK-sponsored hill climber of renown, Richardson has also been the Welsh 12-hour time-trial champion, recording 212 miles on one of the hottest days of 2018.

The Brother UK-sponsored hill climb champion is no stranger to a challenge.

A parent and business owner living the life of an elite athlete, Richardson is used to overcoming obstacles.

Add lockdown to the equation and even her colleagues on the domestic scene, accustomed to balancing family life and careers with training and racing, might have thought twice before seeking to establish new records.

It is in Richardson’s nature, however, to explore the limits of her talent.

The Roads Record Association’s Brecon Beacons Circuit is a solo challenge worthy of such a single-minded competitor.

Known best for her hill climbing achievements, Richardson has found an antidote to indoor cycling in a 104.5-mile, anti-clockwise loop from Brecon, loaded with 6,600ft of climbing.

“I’d been turbo training during lockdown. It’s a mental challenge to ride on the spot for four hours, but once I’d overcome it, I thought about taking on a 12-hour challenge. I sent a message to the time-trialist Jon Shubert, congratulating him on his 100-mile record, and mentioned a 12-hour turbo challenge. He suggested instead trying for an outdoor circuit record with the RRA.”

The RRA was founded in 1888 after the National Cycling Union banned road racing and focused entirely on track events to avoid conflict with horse riders and police.

While time trials has become the dominant authority for timed tests, the RRA ratifies records for set routes, times and distances.

“I enjoy cycling’s history,” added Richardson. “Becoming involved with an organisation of such long-standing and which is so quintessentially British is definitely part of the appeal.

“I was attracted too by the chance to establish a record on my home roads: an achievement that will be ratified and could inspire others.”

Richardson racked up 2,700 miles of solo training in preparation and did not underestimate the savagery of the circuit, notably the ascent of Black Mountain and the climb into Bwlch, which are positioned early and late in the route.

“My personal motivation is to showcase accessibility in the sport. By seeing a picture of someone attempting a record on a road bike, hopefully people will think: ‘They haven’t had to buy a time-trial bike. That could be me’.”