Irish rider destroys Alberto Contador’s Everesting record by 20 minutes
The record race continues, but can a rider go faster than seven hours?
The Everesting record race continues at its blistering pace as an Irish rider has destroyed the time set by retired Grand Tour star Alberto Contador.
Ronan McLaughlin, a former An Post-Chain Reaction rider who represented Ireland at the 2012 World Championships, knocked more than 20 minutes off Contador’s already phenomenal time as the record now sits at just above seven hours.
Everesting has been the biggest challenge trend during a 2020 that has been defined by the coronavirus pandemic, with new records coming almost weekly as riders climb the 8,848 metres equivalent height of Mount Everest on a single segment.
Contador set a new record earlier this month on the Silla del Rey climb in Spain, taking the record from current pro Lachlan Morton (EF Pro Cycling).
On Thursday (July 30) 33-year-old Mclaughlin took on the 117m-long, 14 per cent gradient Mamore Gap segment in County Donegal Northern Ireland,
Mclaughlin completed the brutal challenge in a time of 7-04-51, toppling the time of retired professional and Grand Tour winner Contador, 7-27-20.
This was Mclaughlin’s second attempt at the Everest record, after he set a time just over eight hours on the same climb two weeks previously.
But this time Mclaughlin changed the section of the climb he rode, removing a flat section to bring up the average gradient and drop the distance he needed to ride to hit the target altitude.
Mclaughlin spent seven hours and 31 minutes in the saddle to ride a total of 9,429m, with a distance of 130km.
He average 263 watts for the entire ride.
The bike he used, a Specialized Tarmac S-Works, was also heavily modified to make it a pure hill climbing machine with cut handlebars, a 1x chainring on the front, Shimano Dura-Ace whees, a Campagnolo Record EPS groupset and a Ceramic Speed oversized jockey wheel.
Mclaughlin also used his ride to raise money for a great cause, The Community Rescue Service which is a volunteer-run search and rescue operation that works across Northern Ireland.
You can donate to the fundraising page here.
The women’s Everesting record also recently fell, as British former pro Emma Pooley smashed the previous fastest time.
Pooley took on the 13 per cent average Haggenegg climb in Switzerland on Wednesday, July 8, completing 10 laps of the 6.7km-long climb to rack up the 8,848 metres.
The 37-year-old set a new fastest time to climb the high of Everest on a bike, with eight hours, 53 minutes and 36 seconds – beating the previous record set by Hannah Rhodes in June, nine hours and eight minutes.
>>> Watch: Riders battle insane winds on summit of Picón Blanco at Vuelta a Burgos
Everesting has become a hugely popular challenge in 2020, as both amateurs and professionals have been looking to keep themselves motivated with racing suspended due to coronavirus.
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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