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Lachlan Morton sets new Everesting record in Colorado

EF Pro Cycling’s Lachlan Morton attacks on the road to Falls Creek
EF Pro Cycling’s Lachlan Morton goes on the attack (Image credit: Con Chronis)

Lachlan Morton has set a new Everesting record, beating Keegan Swenson's time and stopping the clock in seven hours, 32 minutes, 54 seconds for climbing the required 8,848m of altitude.

The Australian EF Pro Cycling rider and adventurer broke the record on Saturday, a few days after a test ride. Morton is based in Boulder and opted to ride on the short Rist Canyon climb outside Fort Collins, Colorado. Despite a start altitude of 2,200m, Morton covered the 1.9km 11 per cent climb 42 times during his record-breaking ride.

 "Lachlan Morton just raised the Everesting bar…” Swenson in a congratulatory post on Instagram. "And he did it at altitude as it should be done. Maybe we’ll need to have a head-to-head Everest race."

Morton noted that the "42 laps of Rist was hell" on his Strava ride. He posted details of his Everesting attempt, which was later verified by the Everesting overseers group Hells 500, despite a data lag. He rode for 169km at an average speed of 22.4km/h, reaching 121.3km/h on the descents with an average power of 276W. He burnt a massive 6,891 calories during the ride.

Morton is the second WorldTour ride to take on the Everesting challenge, since the COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown stopped racing and forced riders to look for cycling challenges that respect social distancing and health measures. Others have ridden the event on digital platforms.

Bora-Hansgrohe’s Emanuel Buchmann made a recent attempt, setting a time of seven hours and 28 minutes but this was confirmed as his moving time rather than elapsed time. He also failed to follow the rules on using the same climb for all of the attempt.

Former professional rider Phil Gaimon also made a serious attempt at the Everesting record and it will be interesting to see if others will now consider attacking Morton's new time. 

EF Pro Cycling team manager Jonathan Vaughters congratulate his rider on Instagram saying: "Mt. Everest is yours. New nickname: Sherpa."

Morton has mixed WorldTour road racing with adventure rides and other events on what EF Pro Cycling call their "alternative calendar". The Australian climber finished fourth at the 2019 Dirty Kanza gravel race, was third at the Leadville 100 mountain bike event and also dominated the GB Duro bike packing event.

In May, Morton set a new record time for the Utah-Colorado Kokopelli Trail. He is expected to return to road racing and further adventure rides when the COVID-19 pandemic eases and racing resumes in Europe.