Following on the heels of Johan Museeuw's recent 24-hour indoor trainer ride for charity, retired pro Jens Voigt will take things up a notch by riding outdoors for 24 hours while attempting to climb the equivalent height of Mount Everest.
Dubbed the Jensie Challenge, the Voigt event will raise money for cancer-figthing Tour de Cure as he sets out in the early morning hours of January 2 on repeated ascents and descents of the famous Berlin Teufelsberg, Voigt's local climb that features about 90 metres of elevation gain per loop. Voigt has vowed to ride his Trek Cronus CX bike until he reaches the accumulated vertical elevation of Mount Everest at 8,848 metres (29,029 feet).
"Of course people might think I am crazy to do something like this," Voigt said in a press release promoting the event. "But hey, I never said I wasn't crazy right? Haha. After my hour record a while back, which was already a special achievement, this is something I wan't to do for two reasons. First and foremost, I was touched by the amazing charity work of the Tour de Cure and I want to help raise as much awareness and funds for the fight against cancer as possible. The second reason is that I love to challenge my limits. I love to go above and beyond, trying to see what my body and mind are capable of. And what's a better way to do this than riding my bike for 24 hours - climbing the equivalent of the Mount Everest? It will possibly be the ride that embodies my motto 'Shut up Legs' like nothing else I've ever done on the bike before. I'll probably yell at my legs most of the second 12 hours."
Following his retirement from professional cycling, Voigt, who is now a brand ambassador for Trek, was the first rider to tackle the UCI Hour Record when the governing body changed the rules to once again allow aerodynamic track bikes. Voigt, who was 43 at the time, set a new record of 51.110km on September 18, 2014. His mark fell the next month when Matthias Brändle rode 51.852km on October 30. Bradley Wiggins set the current record of 54.526km in June of 2015.
Although Voigt retired from racing following the USA Pro Challenge in 2014, he has stayed in shape riding charity events, l'etape rides and in his own gran fondo.