‘There’s vomit in my beard’: Phil Gaimon completes fastest-ever Everest ride

The retired American pro beat the previous best time by 37 minutes

Phil Gaimon has completed the fastest-ever Everest ride, ascending more than 8,848m in just under eight hours.

The retired American pro beat Tobias Lestrell’s time of eight hours and 29 minutes by 37 minutes, completing the challenge in seven hours and 52 minutes in a ride that took a total of 8-04-06.

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The 34-year-old burned more than 8,000 calories while ascending a total of 8,918m, and put out an average of 259W. He rode at an average speed of 19.4km/h and reached a maximum of 92.2km/h on the descents.

Phil Gaimon’s Everest ride on Strava (Strava)

Gaimon rode Mountaingate Ridge Road, north of Los Angeles, California, 60 times in order to complete the challenge.

The climb was 920m in length and averaged a gradient of 11 per cent, with Gaimon ascending 146.3m with every effort.

“There’s vomit in my beard but this suffering is a privilege,” Gaimon said in the Strava description of the ride. “Thanks to everyone for donating to folks who suffer for real. Thanks to Ben and Emily and Kelton and Jesse and all the folks who came to yell at me.”

Gaimon is currently attempting to fundraise $100,000 for the No Kid Hungry charity, which helps provide healthy meals to underprivileged American children. He’s currently raised $69,000.

American actor Michael Muhney was one of the spectators who spent two hours watching Phil and another rider called Ben Foster taking on the challenge.

Many cyclists have been keeping themselves entertained with Everest rides during lockdown, with Mark Cavendish and Luke Rowe completing virtual Everestings on Zwift.

The former team-mates rode 211km in a time of 10 hours 37 minutes and 32 seconds, with Cavendish saying afterwards: “We had the idea when we knew the weather would be bad. I take my hat off to anyone who’s completed it in whatever capacity, it was grim.”

It’s not just current and former pros undertaking the challenge, though, with London cycling club Kingston Wheelers climbing 200,000 metres and raising more than £13,000 for their local NHS hospital.

One member, Alice Lethbridge, became the fastest woman to complete a virtual Everesting on the Alpe du Zwift by setting a time of nine hours and 24 minutes and hadn’t even thought of attempting the virtual Everesting when she started the charity ride.