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British teenager could be youngest ever to cycle around the world

Tom Davies holds his arms aloft in triumph after crossing the finish line in south London. Credit: PA

A cycling-mad British teenager may be the youngest person ever to ride around the world after completing his 18,000-mile journey amid emotional scenes.

Tom Davies raised his arms in triumph before breaking down in tears after crossing the finish line in Battersea, south London, cheered home by around 100 family members, friends and supporters.

During his epic six-and-a-half month trip, the 19 year old was chased by dogs in Albania, raced an emu in Australia and was delayed by snow in Greece.

After stepping off his bike and being embraced by his parents, Tom said: "I've just cycled around the world! It's the best feeling.

"It's been a lot of pain, a lot of suffering, so it's amazing to finish.

"I didn’t really know what to expect heading into it.

"It has been incredible to see the countries and experience the different cultures in this way, whilst also pushing myself harder than I ever thought possible."

Tom spent years preparing for his journey, and while the Guinness Book of Records have not verified that he is the youngest ever person to complete the trip, it is believed he could be.

Tom was emotional after finishing his 18,000-mile journey. Credit: PA

He completed 100 miles a day in all elements and has raised more than £50,000 for charity.

The money will go to Prostate Cancer UK Carney's Community, which works with disadvantaged young people, and the Sohana Research Fund, set up to support Sohana Collins, 13, who suffers from Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa. Nicknamed the Butterfly Disease, it is an incurable and often fatal illness which causes the skin to badly blister.

Despite having only just completed his trip, Tom, a keen cyclist throughout his teenage years, vowed he would get back in the saddle soon.

His mother Alison said she and her husband Huw were immensely proud of what he had achieved.

She said: "He had a few hairy moments, like being chased by dogs in Albania. He recovered from it OK, although I think his heart was pounding a bit.

"There was a very special moment when he found himself riding alongside an emu in Australia. The emu was right next to him and running parallel.

"It certainly is not just any gap year. We are incredibly proud. It feels a bit surreal, Tom certainly feels it is surreal."

To donate to Tom's fundraising efforts visit his Virgin Money Giving page.

Tom took this picture while riding through New Zealand. Credit: Tom Davies
Tom kept people up to date with his progress on a blog. This image is from Australia. Credit: Tom Davies
Tom was held up by elephants in India. Credit: Tom Davies
Tom back home with his sister Anna (left), dad Huw and mother Alison. Credit: PA

Read more about Tom's trip and see more pictures on his blog.