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Canadian cyclist Travis Samuel breaks world record, rides 1,008 km in 24 hours on Zwift

The Toronto Hustle rider participated in the Crush Covid fundraiser

On Friday, Apr. 24, 39 teams participated in the Crush Covid marathon Zwift fundraiser. They started riding at 6:00 p.m. and continued until 6:00 p.m. the next day. Most teams were switching off team members and taking turns, but a few of the 418 participants rode for the full 24 hours straight.

RELATED: A long day in the saddle: Toronto Hustle’s 24 hour Zwift fundraiser will help crush COVID

Travis Samuel was one of those riders. The Toronto Hustle cyclist, based in Peterborough, On., spent 24 hours riding on Zwift and covered 1,008 km, blowing past the previous world record distance of 988 km. To achieve his goal, he had to average no less than 42.1 km/h and spend no more than half an hour total off the bike—whether that was to change kit, stretch or use the washroom.

Samuel is in his third year at Trent University. The 25-year-old has previously raced for Silber Pro Cycling and DCBank Pro Cycling, but this year he will be joining Toronto Hustle for the (currently on-hold) 2020 season.

Ed Veal, of Hamilton United, and Bruce Bird were two of the 24-hour riders also going for the record. Veal once held the farthest 24 hour Zwift distance record, having ridden 952 km. For the Crush Covid ride, he blew past his previous distance, covering 993 km. Bird, who rode an impressive 945 km, has multiple rainbow jerseys from Gran Fondo World Championships.

An important cause

Toronto Hustle organized the Crush Covid fundraiser to support Michael Garron Hospital’s frontline healthcare workers by ensuring the hospital can purchase equipment and respond to emerging priorities as the COVID-19 situation evolves. The team’s initial $75, 000 goal was more than doubled as participants and donors came together to raise over $200,000 for the cause.

Brad Bradford, City of Toronto Councillor and principal at Toronto Hustle, also rode the full 24 hours. He live streamed the entire event, and featured special guest video appearances from people such as Toronto mayor John Tory, Leah Kirchmann, the CEO of Michael Garron Hospital and more.

The hospital is still accepting donations in the form of sewn masks, donated personal protective equipment or monetary contributions.