A cycling record that stood for 50 years has been broken by an amateur rider from Surrey.

Alice Lethbridge, 32, who lives in Epsom and teaches at a school in Kingston, smashed the women’s record for distance travelled in a 12-hour time trial.

She rode 285.645 miles, recording an average speed of 23.8 miles per hour, on the E2/12 course in Cambridgeshire on August 13.

The record was set in 1967, when the legendary Beryl Burton went 277.25 miles, meaning Miss Lethbridge rode more than eight miles further.

She said: “I was almost peer-pressured into trying to break it. A friend gave me a breakdown of how far I would have to go by what time to beat it, and from about two hours in I was up on that.

“But even though I was up on it there was a long time left, so I always had that worry. I had ridden for 12 hours once a few years ago, stopping a lot. That was my biggest worry: riding for that long continuously, but to do really enjoy the long distances.

Beryl Burton’s record was the longest standing time trial record.

The day she set it, it was the record for both men and women.

Miss Lethbridge, who is a head of year and teaches biology at Tiffin Girls School, began cycling seriously after going to watch the Olympic Box Hill race in 2012.

She said: “I used to be a runner but I had a lot of injuries. I tried cycling as a way to keep fit but get injured less often, and I really enjoyed it.

“It was a shaky start when in one of my first races I went really off course and nearly ended up on the motorway. I got a few good results on basic equipment so people started to suggest I give up running and focus on cycling.”

In June, Miss Lethbridge set a women’s national record for 100 miles, covering the distance in three hours, 42minutes and 37 seconds.

Now in her third season of cycling competitively, she has ridden with the Drag2Zero team since January, with whom she has broken several set-distance records.