A German cyclist has set a new world record for the highest altitude reached on a bicycle, using a fat bike to climb to 6,233 metres – that’s 20,450 feet in old money – on South America’s second highest mountain.
Guido Kunze, an ultra athlete from Mühlhausen in central Germany, rode from Bahí a Inglesa on Chile’s Pacific Coast to the north west ridge of the Ojos del Salado, at 6.893 metres the world’s highest active volcano.
By the time he finished his ride on the evening of October 16, he had climbed 150 metres higher than the existing record holder, fellow German Andre Hauschke, who set his benchmark in April 2010.
On his ride, which took a little over 37 hours, Kunze covered 342.8km with a total height gain of 6,899 meters.
Speaking by satellite phone, he said: "It was really tough, not only the altitude but also the brutal winds.
“Now I am overjoyed. The detailed and meticulous preparation has been well worth it.
“Nobody in our team suffered from altitude sickness and there were no injuries or damage to the equipment.”
Sponsors of the record attempt included Garmin as well as the Swedish camping stove manufacturer, Primus to ensure Kunze, his support team and a TV crew kept fed with hot food.
Primus has previously supplied some of the world’s greatest explorers such as Fridtjof Nansen, Roald Amundsen and Sir Edmund Hillary.
Kunze said: “The stoves worked perfectly, no matter whether on sea level or at high altitude, regardless of heat or icy cold. The Eta pots helped us to save fuel and cooking was really fast.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.