13 hours and 292 ascents: How one rider Everested in the Netherlands

Dutch pro Etienne van Empel rode 301km while Everesting on a climb with just 31m of elevation

Everesting is everywhere at the minute. You can’t move for riders, amateur and pro, putting themselves through hell in search of 8,848m total elevation.

While records continue to tumble as the pursuit gains popularity, one rider has decided to take the challenge in a new direction: Everesting in the Netherlands.

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Almost 25 per cent of all the land in the Netherlands is at or even below sea level, with its highest point rising to only 322m.

This didn’t stop Dutch pro Etienne van Empel, however, who managed to Everest on his native roads in just under 13 hours, riding a total of 300km.

>>> 19-year-old takes UK Everesting record under nine-hour mark

His Strava data shows he average 23.6km/h during the ride, hitting a maximum of 58km/h and burning 8,992 calories during the effort.

The climb he rode was only 0.5km in length, with an elevation of 31m provided by the six per cent average gradient, which was eight per cent at its steepest.

Etienne van Empel’s Everesting ride (Strava)

“About yesterday. Who says you can’t climb in the Netherlands, 8,938m of elevation, about the equivalent height of Mount Everest. Only took 292 ascents,” Van Empel said after his effort.

Van Empel currently rides for UCI ProTeam Vini Zabù – KTM, having previously raced for Roompot as well as the Rabobank Development Team.

He raced the Tour Colombia this year before the season was shut down by the coronavirus pandemic, having finished third on GC at the Tour de Taiwan last year.

While Van Empel may hold the record for the flattest Everesting ever (if there’s not a classification for that, there should be), EF Pro Cycling’s Lachlan Morton recently set the new world record for the fastest Everesting, bringing the record down to seven hours, 29 minutes and 57 seconds.

This was the Australian’s second attempt in a week, after his initial record-breaking effort failed to ascend 8,848m due to an altitude miscalculation.