Simoes is interviewed by a reporter in Veracruz. Simoes is interviewed by a reporter in Veracruz.

Thief steals bicycle, halts cyclist’s dream

Brazilian had arrived in Veracruz en route to beating a Guinness record

A Brazilian cyclist’s dream of breaking a Guinness record has come to a sudden stop after arriving in Mexico: his bicycle was stolen yesterday in the city of Veracruz.

Denizart Simoes has just 10,000 kilometers remaining in his 500,000-kilometer journey, but is now stranded after a thief made off with the bike on the Ávila Camacho boulevard.

Simoes had stopped for a rest and took a brief nap. Hearing a noise from where the bicycle was parked he went to investigate, but the thief — and the bicycle — were gone.

Also gone were all his belongings and mementoes of the journey.

The former automotive mechanic began his trip 18 years ago in Patagonia, Argentina, and has traveled through 55 countries on five continents in his quest to break a Guinness record for the longest distance cycled, 400,000 kilometers, set in 1995.

Simoes, 53, told a reporter three years ago that the main reason he began the journey was to quit smoking. However, he had also split up with his wife, “so that was another reason.”

He said yesterday that he will stay in Veracruz for a few days in the hopes that his bicycle will be recovered.

The quest for the record is on hold, he said tearfully, “they took away my legs.”

Source: El Universal (sp), La Policiaca (sp)

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