'Everesting' world record falls twice in four days

  • Cycling
  • Saturday, 23 May 2020

(Reuters) - When retired pro cyclist Phil Gaimon spent nearly eight hours climbing the equivalent height of Mount Everest, he had hoped he might have more than four days to enjoy his world record.

That was not the case though as his 'Everesting' world record was broken by fellow American, World Cup mountain biker Keegan Swenson, who ascended the required 8,848 metres in seven hours 40 minutes.

Everesting first emerged as a sporting event in the early 1990s, with riders set the challenge of picking a hill and then riding up and down it enough times to have climbed the world's highest mountain.

Gaimon is using his attempts at the event to raise funds for the charity No Kid Hungry, which provides meals for underprivileged children in the United States.

Swenson completed his ride by continuously climbing a stretch of Pine Canyon Road near his home in Park City, Utah.

According to his statistics on popular cycling app Strava, Swenson climbed a total of 9,046m, covered 170km in total and burned up 6,682 calories. "I am 100% shelled," said the 23-year-old Swenson whose effort helped raised money for a friend's Multiple Sclerosis fundraiser.

"It'll be pretty interesting to see where it goes and if any other pro roadies or mountain bikers will give it a crack," Swenson told Velo News.

Gaimon, 34, is not done though, saying he intends to find another hill on which he can reclaim the record.

"The previous record stood from 2017, I took it by just under 40 minutes and I kept it for a whole four days," he was quoted in Cycling Weekly. "I hadn't even finished drinking the champagne yet. It was taken by Keegan Swenson, I want to hate him but he seems like a nice guy.

"I won't go down without a fight. I don't know where I can find 10 minutes... I need to find a better hill."

Gaimon, once of the Cannondale-Drapac UCI World Tour team, has even asked his followers to locate a suitable stretch of road near Los Angeles for him to have another attempt.

"What I'm looking for in the hill is it needs to be straight up and down, so no hairpins on the downhill, no braking, if you've got something that's 20% -- awesome."

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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