Everesting Challenge: Stairway to Stelvio
Last weekend a member of our staff, Manuel, successfully completed an “Everesting Challenge” under the most difficult of circumstances. Manuel is a student in Engineering, former track rider and Italian champion, who is part of the Q36.5, working in R&D and in Customer Service.
Manuel rode the Stelvio Pass from Bormio a total of six times consecutively , clocking a total of 225 km in less than 19 hours. The total vertical gain of this crazy feat was 8,848 meters, the height of the Mount Everest! A drastic change in weather made this challenge all the more difficult. No one was expecting snow and freezing temperatures after the record heat wave Europe had been experiencing for weeks before. At the top of the first climb they encountered snow and temperatures below zero degrees. As the day progressed, the weather changed and temperatures warmed up, it even hit a high of 27 degrees in Bormio in the afternoon. But in the evening the temperatures dropped and during the last ascent it had sunk to one degree.
“It was the hardest day on the bike that I have ever experienced in my life,”
Manuel admitted. “It was an ultimate bike adventure – the beauty of the mountain changed constantly during the different hours of the day. During the first and the last climb we were totally alone on the road, there was not a car to be seen, and we rode in complete darkness. It is something I will never, ever forget. The temperatures were very cold, but because I was wearing the proper Equipment, I was able to stay warm without overheating throughout the entire 19 hours. At the top I dried out completely in few minutes so I was able to make the descent without changing the Base Layer or the Jersey, I just added extra layers to be protected against the wind during the descent.”
“My weapon for the ride was Q36.5’s Salopette Dottore, which supported me honorably throughout this endurance ride. Due to the unexpected cold temperatures, I also wore the Base Layer 1 short sleeve with a custom G1 jersey, Vest L1 Essential and long sleeve Jersey that sported a special design created exclusively for this attempt. Faced with snow and low temperatures me and my father-in-law, Luca Salvadeo who accompanied me on this epic challenge, were taken to our limits.”
9000 Calories and more than 15 bottles!
“We completed more or less 50 000 pedal strokes, recorded approximately 125, 000 heart beats and burned over 9000 Calories – the equivalent to 88 pizza slices! We ate during each ascent, both carbs (bars, cookies and strudel) as well as protein and continued to stay hydrated drinking over 15 bottles in total during the event!”
Manuel’s goal for this epic ride was to raise funds to support the Dynamo Camp – the first recreational therapy camp in Italy specially structured to host children affected by chronic diseases. If you would like to donate to a good cause and show your respect for Manuels’ and Lucas’ amazing feat here is the link to donate:
Photo courtesy of: Davide Caravaggio