Mountain biker Keegan Swenson has become the second cyclist in a week to break the Everesting World Record – but the first, retired WorldTour pro Phil Gaimon, is aiming to get it back.
— Phil Gaimon (@philgaimon) May 24, 2020
Swenson, aged 23, took seven hours and 40 minutes to climb 8.848 metres, equivalent to the height of Mount Everest on Friday 15 May.
His effort, on Pine Canyon Road in Park City, Utah, saw him take 12 minutes off Gaimon’s record, which had been set the previous Monday.
US cross country mountain bike champion Swenson’s Strava post of the ride showed that he had climbed 9,046 metres in total, riding for 170km and consuming 6,682 calories.
Gaimon, who after the end of a career in which he raced for teams including Cannondale-Drapac has built a following on YouTube through his “Worst Retirement Ever” videos, had not even finished editing the footage of the ride in which he broke the record before it was taken from him.
The 34-year-old has vowed to reclaim the record, however.
In a video posted to YouTube, he said: “The previous record stood from 2017, I took it by just under 40 minutes and I kept it for a whole four days.
“I hadn’t even finished drinking the Champagne yet. It was taken by Keegan Swenson, I want to hate him, but he seems like a nice guy.
“I won’t go down without a fight. I don’t know where I can find 10 minutes ... I need to find a better hill.”
Gaimon’s own record-breaking ride took place on Monday 11 May on Mountaingate Ridge Road in Los Angeles.
He tackled the climb 60 times to achieve the 8.848 metres of vertical gain required in a time of 7 hours 52 minutes.
The record had previously been held by Tobias Lestral, who set a time of 8 hours 29 minutes in 2017.
Both riders have been raising money for charity through their efforts – Swenson for a friend who has Multiple Sclerosis, Gaimon for No Kid Hungry.
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.