French Cyclists Claim World Record for Largest GPS Drawing by Bike


, by Fabienne Lang

Guillaume Koudlansky de Lustrac and Vincent Brémond rode 1354 miles / 2196 km in celebration of the Paris Olympics.

Two French cyclists set out on a 1,354 mile / 2,196 km mission to set a Strava Art world record by tracing the Olympic rings, gearing up for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

There must be something in the water in France as yet another French team has attempted to break a Guinness World Record for the largest GPS drawing by bicycle. This marks the third consecutive French team aiming for this prestigious achievement in the past two years, reaffirming the nation's dominance in the Strava Art scene.

"I believe France is the country of sports artists," muses Guillaume Koudlansky de Lustrac, one half of the dynamic duo from the latest cycling team vying for this record. Alongside his teammate Vincent Brémond, they eagerly anticipate the verdict from the prestigious organization. To gain their title they must surpass the current record held by the father-daughter duo Frédéric and Mathilde de Lanouvelle, who carved a 2,162-km heart-shaped route across France in 2023.

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Guillaume and Vincent's ambitious project spanned 1,354 miles / 2,196 km over 10 days, tracing a route shaped like the Olympic rings that started and ended beneath the Eiffel Tower. With the journey kicking off precisely six months before the Paris 2024 Olympics on January 26th, the duo aimed to fuse their passion for Strava Art and sports with celebrating the Olympic spirit and riding for the organization 'Le Sport a du Coeur,' which financially supports pro and amateur athletes.

When it comes to sports and ultra-endurance, these two Frenchmen know what they’re doing. Guillaume boasts records like the (marvelously odd) fastest marathon run backwards (it’s exactly as it sounds) and conquering a triple IRONMAN (why settle for one if you can do three?). In 2023, the duo cycled across all 12 continental French regions, and have tackled ultra-endurance events, including the Race Across France where they first crossed paths in 2021. Vincent's endurance shines as well, evident in his 3,180-kilometer / 1,976-mile cycle from Paris to Casablanca in Morocco.

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Their smorgasbord of athletic accomplishments showcases the grit required for ultra-endurance sports, though, this project, like many others, came with its own challenges. As a vegan, Guillaume recalls his dietary struggles in the French countryside, where food options were limited. "I think I ate fries ten times in ten days," he recalls. “I started going crazy.” As a consultant in carbon footprint and ecological transition, he hopes restaurants nationwide and beyond will prioritize sustainability by offering more vegetarian meals on their menus and staying true to their sustainability promises.

Vincent's most memorable moment during their record attempt ride was battling a full day of headwinds – roughly 220 kilometers’ worth (136 miles), – near-freezing temperatures, and relentless rain. A true test of determination that made the good moments shine even brighter.

Despite the hardships, “the end was like a dream finish,” Guillaume says, all smiles. “We had Yoann Offredo, a former pro French cyclist of the Tour de France, who came to cycle the last 50 km / 31 miles with us. At the same time there were about 20 of us cycling through Paris to reach the finish line under the Eiffel Tower. That was probably the best moment,” he says, his grin extending ear to ear.

Beyond the pursuit of a world record, Guillaume and Vincent aspire to ignite inspiration for sports and creativity. Their Strava Art and passion for the Olympics serve as a testament to this vision, encouraging others to explore new avenues of expression through physical activity. "Take the Olympics as an excuse to do more sports and to get moving even if it’s to draw just a five-kilometer letter or something."

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With Strava Art boasting a collection of thousands of pieces of artwork, anyone on Strava can use their GPS device to create art while engaging in various activities ranging from cycling to swimming and even skiing. Creating a Strava Art route can offer extra motivation when you're not feeling up for a run or cycle. "Since you're going to draw something, it's kind of fun, so you're looking forward to it,” urges Guillaume.

When it comes to Strava Art, it’s not about seeking perfection. “Even if the conditions aren't perfect, just go for it," advises Guillaume. On their excursion, for instance, they encountered some small bumps in the road: "There were actually two nights where we had to reroute a bit and hope that the circle wouldn't be messed up too much because there was absolutely no place to sleep on the way," Guillaume chuckles. "And on the last day, we had to take a 5 km detour because there was nothing we could eat," he explains, adding with a glint in his eye: "Not even fries."

Photography by: Ben Grivoz

True to form, the duo is not idly waiting for their world record to be confirmed. Vincent is embarking on an ultra-endurance cycling adventure, this time in Sri Lanka during the summer, while Guillaume plans to "link every single French ski station in one ultra-endurance project." With over 300 ski stations, it's no small feat. "Every day is going to be about 85 km / 52 miles of cycling with around 2,000 meters / 6,461 feet of elevation gain," he elaborates.

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As with many of his other endeavors, Guillaume prioritizes environmental concerns. His upcoming three-month ski station project from April to June seeks to engage with people and organizations at the stations to "try and see what we can do to save our mountains and ski stations in the future because of the current climate." Combining his passion for ultra-endurance sports and environmental activism, he is committed to driving change forward.

As we eagerly await the outcome of this new record attempt, one thing remains certain: Guillaume and Vincent's Strava Art journey serves as proof that with some resilience, creativity, and an open spirit, anyone can experience their own version of the Olympics and have fun doing so.

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