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Alberto Contador sets new Everesting record

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Alberto Contador Everesting

Contador on his way to setting a new Everesting record (Image credit: davidponce.com)
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Contador Everesting Strava

Contador's Everesting ride on Strava (Image credit: Strava)
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Alberto Contador Everesting

Contador with his Abike, kitted out with Lightweight Meilenstein T 24D wheels (Image credit: davidponce.com)
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Alberto Contador Everesting

Contador fueling for seven and a half hours on the bike (Image credit: davidponce.com)
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Alberto Contador Everesting

Contador during a descent of the Navapelegrín (Image credit: davidponce.com)
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Alberto Contador Everesting

Contador during his Everesting attempt (Image credit: davidponce.com)
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Alberto Contador Everesting

The pain of the effort showed on the Spaniard's face during his ride (Image credit: davidponce.com)
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Alberto Contador Everesting

The Navapelegrín is a quiet stretch of road near Segovia in central Spain (Image credit: davidponce.com)
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Alberto Contador Everesting

Contador turning back up the steepest section of the climb (Image credit: davidponce.com)

Alberto Contador has broken Lachlan Morton's Everesting record, climbing 8,848 metres in just 7 hours, 27 minutes and 20 seconds.

The Spanish ex-pro, who won seven Grand Tours during his career, completed the feat on the Navapelegrín climb near Segovia, north of Madrid. Contador beat Morton's time by 2:37, riding up and down the steepest section of the 6.8km climb 78 times. His record has been verified by Hells 500, the body which governs Everesting attempts.

"Everesting madness completed," Contador posted to Instagram, with a video showing him on the climb. "Thanks to your messages I was encouraged to do it. More than seven hours and 8,848 metres ascended. A very demanding challenge but a very nice experience. The next one we do together!"

The Navapelegrín, which neighbours the Puerto de Navacerrada – a semi-regular feature at the Vuelta a España – 7.5 per cent for its 6.8km, and reaches an altitude of 1,710 metres.

However, Contador's effort focused on the steepest section of the climb. He rode repeats of a kilometre of the climb with an average of 12 per cent and maximum gradient of 20 per cent.

Contador rode the challenge after being encouraged by fans to take it on. He rode a model from his own bike range as part of testing for the brand, which will be known as Abikes.

"These are days of hard work, preparing the launch of the bike, which is very close," said Contador. "We wanted to test some materials and also check their behaviour in very specific environments, hence the boundary.

"The other day we were joking about achieving the challenge and a lot of comments encouraged us to do it. When we downloaded and compared the data, from the Everesting challenge website we were confirmed that the challenge had been overcome."

The 37-year-old, who retired at the end of 2017 after a 15-year pro career, completed the challenge in just under 140km, though kept going just to be safe after Morton's data error – he put in a total of 8,964 metres of elevation.

Averaging 268 watts for the ride, Contador also smashed the Strava KOM for the 'Parte final – Silla del Rey' segment of the climb, beating the previous record holder by 36 seconds to set a time of 3:49.

During the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing extended break from racing, pro riders have sought different ways to get competitive, taking to virtual platforms to ride eRacing events like the Virtual Tour de France, hitting the gravel in organised events such as Dirty Kanzelled, and Everesting – climbing the height of Mount Everest on their bikes.

Numerous professional riders and ex-pros alike have taken on the challenge, with Phil Gaimon and US cross-country mountain bike champion Keegan Swenson setting records in May. Emanuel Buchmann (who set an invalid record) and Giulio Ciccone were among current pros to take it on, with the Italian riding virtually on the Zwift platform.

Last month, EF Pro Cycling rider Lachlan Morton set a record of 7:32:54 before a data error showed that he hadn't actually climbed 8,848 metres. He would later return to set a new record of 7:29:57, beating Swenson by over ten minutes, his record standing for almost three weeks before Contador's effort.

Katie Hall (Boels Dolmans) set the women's record back in late May with a time of 10:01 beating the previous record by over two hours. Ex-pro Lauren De Crescenzo and Hannah Rhodes-Patterson went faster in June, before 2010 time trial world champion Emma Pooley set a new record by 15 minutes earlier this week.