Irishman takes Everesting record from Alberto Contador

Ronan Mc Laughlin betters Contador's mark by 20 minutes on short sharp climb in northwest Ireland.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Everest is there to be conquered, and former elite cyclist Ronan Mc Laughlin did just that Thursday.

The Irishman bettered Alberto Contador’s record Everesting time by over 20 minutes, climbing 8,848m in seven hours, four minutes, forty-one seconds yesterday afternoon. Mc Laughlin, 33, rode 62.5 repeats of the 800 meter, 14 percent Mamore climb near the northwest coast of Ireland.

Mc Laughlin, who rode with Continental level An Post – Chain Reaction team to 2013 and has represented Ireland in the world championships, left no stone unturned in making “marginal gains.” The 33-year-old stripped his bike of bottle cages, cut down the bars, and rode on only a single chainring in a bid to remove all weight possible from his S-Works Tarmac.

Mc Laughlin's stripped-back Everesting bike. Photo: Ronan Mc Laughlin / Strava
Mc Laughlin’s stripped-down Everesting bike. Photo: Ronan Mc Laughlin / Strava

Andy van Bergen, the founder of the Hells 500 group that oversees the Everesting challenge, commented on Mc Laughlin’s Strava file Thursday, confirming that a new record had been set.

“A massive congratulations – your planning, bike prep, and prior knowledge have clearly paid off,” van Bergen said. “This is indeed a new Everesting record of 07:04:41 in the hall of fame. Outstanding doesn’t quite cut it…!”

Mc Laughlin had already set the Irish Everesting record earlier this month, marking a fifth-fastest time globally, using the same Mamore climb as he did Thursday. Mc Laughlin revealed on Instagram before this week’s record attempt that the eye-watering ascent was an old favorite.

“I’ve picked the iconic Mamore Gap because when I first started cycling I used to ride to the base of the gap, strip as much weight off my bike as I could in the form of bottles, saddles bags, anything that I didn’t need and then attempt to summit the climb just once. It took me months of training to achieve this. Tomorrow I plan to ride the notoriously steep climb not once but nearly 63 times.”

Mc Laughlin rode to raise funds for the Community Rescue Service charity, a search and rescue organization operated by volunteers. He’s hoping to raise £8,848 ($11,600), and you can donate here.

You can check out the full details of the ride on Mc Laughlin’s Strava account.

Photo: Ronan Mc Laughlin / Strava

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.