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Buchmann smashes Everesting record

Bora-Hansgrohe’s Emanuel Buchmann takes victory at the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana at the 2020 Challenge Mallorca in Spain
Bora-Hansgrohe’s Emanuel Buchmann takes victory at the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana at the 2020 Challenge Mallorca in Spain (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

German Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) set a new fastest known time for the Everesting Challenge, climbing an 11.6km ascent near Ötztal, Austria just under eight times to meet the requirement of climbing 8,848m on the same segment.

Buchmann finished the challenge in just over seven hours and 28 minutes, 14 minutes faster than US mountain bike champion Keegan Swenson.

The 27-year-old Buchmann, who finished fourth overall in the 2019 Tour de France, took on the Everesting challenge - an informal competition started by the Hells 500 club in Australia - with the goal of raising €10 for each vertical metre climbed for Deutsche Kinderhilfswerk, an organisation that benefits disadvantaged children.

Buchmann's ride, uploaded to Strava, shows he covered 162.19km, climbing at a VAM of over 1,500 m/h at times and reached a maximum speed of 75.3kph on a descent.

However, it also shows he technically violated the challenge's simple rule: Pick any climb, anywhere in the world and ride or run repeat after grinding repeat until you have notched up 8,848m vert". Buchmann started climbing from Oetz then descending the other side toward Haimingerberg and doing eight repeats of the steeper side.

"That was one of the hardest things I have ever done," Buchmann said in a team press release. "I didn't think it would hurt so much towards the end. 

"At the beginning I found a good rhythm and then decided to push hard. After 7000m of climbing completed, I started feeling my muscles. I am not used to this amount of workload and it started to hurt a lot. The last 1000m have been cruel. But there were also some fans out there and their support pushed me toward the finish. 

"It’s a great feeling now to have broken the record here in Ötztal. As a pro, normally there is no time to do such crazy things, somehow, I enjoyed it. This is not comparable to racing at all, but I think it was still a strong performance and it definitely shows we are on track for the Tour. 

"But it is also important to me that people don’t forget why I did this – the charity. I have now done my part and would like to encourage the donation of further funds to the Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk (German children’s fund). The project will therefore remain online."

Buchmann is the latest in a series of riders to take on the Everesting Challenge, with American Katie Hall setting the fastest known women's time at just over 10 hours.

Before Swenson's effort, retired pro Phil Gaimon briefly held the Everesting record at  7:52. Hagens Berman Axeon's Kevin Vermaerke also completed the challenge in 8:19.

Mark Cavendish (Bahrain McLaren) Everested on Zwift in 10:37 with Luke Rowe last month, while Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) did the ride on his terrace on Zwift in April, going on to ride over 10,000m of altitude.