The UK Everesting record has been beaten yet again, and another new fastest time will probably have been set by the time this article is published.
19-year-old Mason Hollyman, who rides for Holdsworth Zappi, is the first to take the record under the nine-hour mark, setting a new best time of eight hours and 28 minutes, with Everesting attempts having exploded in popularity during lockdown.
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Hollyman broke the previous record by 34 minutes, which could prove difficult to beat, and the current world record is held by Lachlan Morton, standing at 7-29-57. Choosing Holme Moss, situated just inside the Peak District, south of Huddersfield, he rode 33 repeats of a 3.1km stretch of road that average gradient of 8.5 per cent.
In total, he rode over 200km in 8-47-15, maintaining an average speed of 23.8km/h and hitting a maximum of 77.8km/h on the descents.
20-year-old Tom Stephenson had broken the UK record just a week ago, with a time of nine hours, two minutes and 25 seconds, six minutes quicker than Hannah Rhodes, who still holds the world women’s record.
“Tough day out that. Cheers to the guys who came out to support!” Hollyman said.
Hollyman rides for the Holdsworth Zappi U23 team and is supported by the Dave Rayner Fund.
In 2019 he came 20th on GC at the Baby Giro, having previously won the Monmouthshire Junior Grand Prix as well as taking the National Series title. He also finished 20th in the men’s junior road race at the 2018 Worlds in Innsbruck.
“I’d been tempted to give it a go since I came back from Italy at the start of March but I hadn’t put much thought into it until a week or so ago when a friend, Lee Brown asked as a bit of a joke if anyone was up for it,” Hollyman told Cycling Weekly.
“After a quick chat with my coach Dean Downing we planned to do it at some point in the next week. With another friend keen to make a bit of a project out of the challenge I knew I had to do it. For me it was pretty special to do the Everesting on Holme Moss, being one of the most iconic climbs in our area, it’s a climb which I’ve grown up training on, which seemed more like a mountain when I was younger.
“It was nice to be in that race mentality again as it’s been a while since I last raced. Also, it was great to have some family and friends supporting me, with the effort made worthwhile after I took the British record.”
“Mason’s Everesting was a pretty low-key affair,” the Dave Rayner Fund posted on Instagram. “A local climb, just a few supporters. No fuss, just get on the bike and ride up the hill…then repeat another 33 times until you’ve reached the height of the highest point on earth.
“What made it special was the incredible speed, the ability to churn out those reps for hour after hour after hour. To push through the bad patches and not lose concentration takes some serious mental strength.
“Holme Moss doesn’t make for the most efficient record attempt. Descending was at times painfully slow due to traffic and the road surface, although not terrible, doesn’t help. Despite that a new British record of 8 hours 28 minutes has been confirmed, it will take some beating.”