Jens Voigt has announced he will “Everest” the Berlin Teufelsberg hill over 24 hours on 2 January, to raise money for cancer charity Tour de Cure.
The charismatic pro cyclist and Olympic Gold medallist, who ended his 17 year professional cycling career in 2014 by beating the Hour record the day after his 43rd birthday, will repeatedly climb the 120m man-made Teufelsberg, ascending 8,848m in total – the height of Mount Everest.
Voigt, who lives in Berlin with his family, will tackle this challenge on his local hill on a Trek Cronus CX bike. He hopes to raise €10,000 for charity, and encourages fans to come to watch the attempt, which will begin in the early hours of Monday morning - or even to ride with him for a while.
"Of course people might think I am crazy to do something like this" said Jens Voigt, "but hey, I never said I wasn't crazy right?”
“After my hour record a while back, which was already a special achievement, this is something I want to do for two reasons. First and foremost I was touched by the amazing charity work of the Tour de Cure and I want to help raise as much awareness and funds for the fight against cancer as possible.
“The second reason is that I love to challenge my limits. I love to go above and beyond, trying to see what my body and mind are capable of, and what's a better way to do this than riding my bike for 24 hours - climbing the equivalent of the Mount Everest? It will possibly be the ride that embodies my motto ‘Shut up Legs’ like nothing else I've ever done on the bike before. I'll probably yell at my legs most of the second 12 hours!"
Berlin Teufelsberg is a man-made hill formed from 75,000,000 m3 of debris and building rubble deposited over 20 years following the Second World War, when the Berlin Wall cut off West Berlin from West Germany. It is one of many man-made rubble mounds that exist near cities across Europe, and a Nazi military technical college, Wehrtechnische Fakultät, which was never completed, is buried beneath it. The shell of a listening station, constructed in 1963, and used by the USA’s NSA (National Security Agency) until after the fall of East Germany and the Berlin Wall, still stands atop Teufelsberg.
Tour de Cure is an Australian charity that says it has raised more than $27 million for cancer research, support and prevention projects since 2007. Its annual ‘flagship’ event, the Signature Tour, takes place on March 24, when 120 riders will cycle from Hotham to Hobart in Australia.
It is possible to donate to Jensie’s Everest Challenge here.