Emanuel Buchmann’s new Everesting record has been deemed invalid by the organisers of the challenge, despite the German thinking he’d smashed the best-ever time by 12 minutes.
The Bora-Hansgrohe climber undertook the challenge in the Alpine valley of Ötzal in Austria, with the WorldTour outfit saying their rider had ascended 8,848m, the height of Mount Everest, in just seven hours and 28 minutes. If valid, this time would have been more than 10 minutes faster than the previous best time of seven hours and 40 minutes set by American Keegan Swenson.
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However, Hells 500, who oversee Everesting record attempts, have said Buchmann’s effort will not count as his first climb was on the other side of the mountain he mainly used for the effort, which means his ride didn’t solely take place on one climb as the rules stipulate. Also, the time of 7-28 is moving time, not elapsed time, and he actually hit 8,848m in 7-51-42, more than ten minutes slower than Swenson.
“An amazing ride, truly amazing,” Hells 500 said, “but unfortunately, no record falls today!”
Buchmann’s ride totalled 162km, during which he burned 6,870 calories and consumed seven bars, six gels and 11 bidons, according to his team.
“That was one of the hardest things I have ever done,” Buchmann said after the ride. “I didn’t think it would hurt so much towards the end. At the beginning, I found a good rhythm and then decided to push hard. After 7,000m of climbing completed, I started feeling my muscles. I am not used to this amount of workload and it started to hurt a lot. The last 1,000m were cruel. But there were also some fans out there and their support pushed me toward the finish.
“As a pro, normally there is no time to do such crazy things, somehow, I enjoyed it. This is not comparable to racing at all, but I think it was still a strong performance and it definitely shows we are on track for the Tour. But it is also important to me that people don’t forget why I did this – the charity.”
Buchmann used the challenge to raise money for Deutsche Kinderhilfswerk, a German charity for children in need, and has raised €15,000 at the time of writing.
In 2019 he came fourth in the Tour de France, less than two minutes behind Egan Bernal, and will target the French Grand Tour again this year.
There’s been an uptick in Everesting attempts during the coronavirus lockdown, as pros and amateurs alike look to keep themselves entertained while riding in groups is limited and racing is postponed.
Former pro Phil Gaimon was the first to break the former record set in 2017, achieving a time of seven hours and 52 minutes.
That was before his compatriot Keegan Swenson took 12 minutes out of his time just four days later.
“Waiting for all the pros to get back to their silly racing and stop Everesting so I’ll know what time to try and beat,” Gaimon tweeted after Buchmann’s attempt.
The former Garmin rider has continued to train as he looks to retake the record, asking fans to help locate a steeper climb to aid his effort.