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Gallery: Frischknecht and Giger set record for amount of descending in one day

By:
Cycling News
Published:
September 26, 2013, 21:01,
Updated:
September 26, 2013, 22:07
Edition:
MTB News & Racing Round-up, Thursday, September 26, 2013
Thomas Frischknecht and Thomas Giger riding downhill

Thomas Frischknecht and Thomas Giger riding downhill

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13,572m logged by former cross country world champ

Thomas Frischknecht and Thomas Giger set a new unofficial world record for the descending in one day on a mountain bike. They dropped 13,572 vertical meters on singletrack in one day during 14 different descents during a ride time of more than 13 hours.

Former professional mountain bike racer and Scott Swisspower team manager Frischknecht and tour guide Giger set their record in Davos Klosters this past Monday.

The effort pushed the limit of what can be done on a mountain bike. Frischknecht and Giger set off before sunrise on top of Davos' Jakobshorn (2590m), and they arrived at the little village of Küblis just after it had gotten dark.

"I am still a mountain biker with heart and soul. The ride today was just breath-taking, almost an overdose of superb alpine mountain biking," said three-time world champion Frischknecht. "And it is a very special feeling having mastered a project that no one has ever tried before."

The "Bahnentour Davos Klosters" served as the basic framework for the record ride, as this mountain bike tour already offered 10,000 vertical meters of descending on a single day by making good use of the various cable cars, gondolas and chairlifts in the region. While many riders fail to complete the entire loop and end up doing far less descents, Giger, the inventor of the Bahnentour soon realized that the limit of what could be done had not been reached yet.

"Davos Klosters has way more singletrack descents than I could integrate into the original Bahnentour. I knew I could set a new world record up here, and it did not take much to convince Thomas Frischknecht to join me on that record attempt," Giger said.

Rather than setting a new world record, he was looking for the unique experience of going to the very limits of what is possible. "The first descent in the early morning and the final descent from the top of the Weissfluh were so impressive that I will remember this particular day for the rest of my life."

During their record-breaking ride, neither Frischknecht nor Giger were slowed down by any mechanical issues, despite the chosen route being extremely demanding regarding the necessary riding skills and the terrain.

Frischknecht and Giger started their record ride on top of the Jakobshorn above Davos and managed to integrate an additional three descents into the standard route. As all cable cars and chairlifts quit operating in the late afternoon, the two riders were flown to the top of the Weissfluh with a helicopter to tackle the last descent to Küblis as dusk was falling. At their arrival, they had logged 13,572 vertical meters of descending and an overall distance of 125 kilometers. Almost all of the ascents were handled by Davos Kloster's cable cars and chairlifts, but 830 vertical meters of ascending still had to be done by their own effort.

winkybiker More than 1 year ago
Part of me just thinks lift (and helicopter) assisted riding is pretty lame. A big part of me.
RidemanRide100 More than 1 year ago
Completely agree. Now, if they had ridden to the top of each descent that would be a story but anyone with sufficient funds and excellent descending skills could pull it off. Not impressed.
nepetalactone More than 1 year ago
171 km (look at the garmin) of tecnhical singletrack in one day sounds pretty impressive to me. Sure they're not pedaling, but being all downhill means you are always 'on'. Most would be pounded, both mentally and physically after a day like that. Good job guys! I'm jealous!
Wheelsucker11 More than 1 year ago
I agree with your assessment of being mentally tough to concentrate for long periods of time. Along with the bumps and shakes their bodies would have experienced. But when you then sit your butt and bike on a gondola or chairlift relaxing your legs, mind and body back up to the top of the mountain, well it just doesn't make it sound that impressive now does it. Interesting challenge but world record worthy???
BigBoat More than 1 year ago
Wheelsucker, have you read the guinness book of world records ? LOL, this is more worthy than half of them!
LongSprint More than 1 year ago
I has the same thought - glad to see I'm not alone on this. It's like having a record for downhill skiing descending - pfffft!
antmills More than 1 year ago
If the headline had said "ascending" then it might have been interesting, but "descending"? ...... Please! .... Do us a favour!
LesMcLuffAlot More than 1 year ago
This record is about having fun. Do you not think after Frischknecht's long career he can have a little fun?
unfiltered More than 1 year ago
Riding in a peloton using the draft? We should celebrate all forms of riding and accomplishments. The skill and stamina to ride what they did exceeds most folks out there. Frishy and Ned are amazing their longevity.
bikejourno More than 1 year ago
As stated in the text above, the regular "Bahnentour" loop in Davos-Klosters that makes good use of the lifts of the region offers 10'000m of descending on singletracks. Let me assure you: Most riders do not finish that regular loop. You have to start early, keep on riding hard all day, eat on the way up and avoid losing time due to mechanicals or crashes on the way down. As it's quite a rough and alpine terrain that is easier said than done. So what Frischknecht and Giger have done there is not exactly "lame". It might not be a way of cycling that everybody shares or enjoys, but it is quite an achievement. Not sure about the use of that helicopter, though. Apart from supersizing the CO2 footprint, it also makes it hard to try and repeat what these two riders have done.