After Lotto Soudal pro Philippe Gilbert's fastest time up the famous climb of La Redoute was beaten by 20-year-old Gijs Leemreize of the Jumbo-Visma development team on Saturday, the record was beaten again by another Dutch 20-year-old – Mathijs Loman – on Sunday.
The record – set via fitness tracker Strava, on which riders can pit themselves against each other to time who's fastest over any given segment of road – was first updated on Friday by Gilbert, who beat AG2R La Mondiale pro Romain Bardet's previous record by 17 seconds. Gilbert wrote on Twitter, "Try to beat it!" having recorded a time of 4:25, and it was Leemreize who was the first to better it, by three seconds, on Saturday.
However, Loman – who rides for the Tempo Hoppenbrouwers-Viro amateur team, according to Het Nieuwsblad – then bettered Leemreize's time by another seven seconds on Sunday, to put the Strava 'king of the mountains' record for the climb, which features on the route of the Ardennes Classic Liège-Bastogne-Liège, at 4:15.
Loman was one of the three Zwift Academy finalists last December, and narrowly missed out on a contract with the NTT Pro Cycling WorldTour team's under-23 development squad, which went to New Zealand's Drew Christensen after Loman, Christensen and another New Zealander, Campbell Pithie, went head-to-head on the popular training app and attended a training session with the team.
Loman's performance on La Redoute, however, and his progress from now on, will likely be followed closely by a number of pro teams.
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