Strategy key to Keegan Swenson's Everesting mark

Keegan Swenson (Stans-Pivot) riding just behind the lead group mid-race
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine)

With no professional racing of any kind on the books until at least August, some top cyclists are finding a diversion in the ficticious 'Everesting' challenge - doing enough repeats on one climb to climb the equivalent of the height of Mount Everest, 8,848 metres. US cross country champion Keegan Swenson set the unofficial record on Friday in Utah. Cyclingnews spoke to the Olympic hopeful to get the details behind his effort.

Normally at this time of year, Swenson, who won the elite title in cross country at the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships last year, would be returning from a block of World Cup racing in Europe. With the calendar suspended, he's had to revert to endurance training before he plans to ramp up for the expected fall World Cups where he aims to automatically qualify for the rescheduled Olympic Games in 2021. So the timing of an endurance challenge was perfect: he had a tough climb, a safe road - Pine Canyon Road was closed to traffic for the winter - and a history of 'gnarly' rides.

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Laura Weislo
Managing Editor

Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Managing Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. As former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks. Laura specialises in covering doping, anti-doping, UCI governance and performing data analysis.