Ralph van den Berg and Max Chapuis set out to claim their world record at four o’clock in the morning. To ensure they had the maximum amount of daylight, they chose 21 June – the longest day of the year.
Everything went to plan, with no breakdowns along the way. Chapuis and van den Berg managed a total of 14,623 metres of vertical ascent within the allotted period of 16 hours. A new world record. And biking destination Davos Klosters was the ideal place to do it. ‘We wanted to cover as much altitude in as short a distance as possible, so we didn’t waste too much time,’ explains van den Berg. Claudio Caluori's ‘Keneveresting Challenge’ was the inspiration behind this world record attempt. Back in 2020, the former downhill professional covered 13,500 metres of altitude on the ‘Specialized Kenevo’ e-bike – which helped inspire the challenge’s name. ‘Everesting’ is a trend where bikers tackle 8,848 metres of altitude – the height of Mount Everest.
Returning to the world record: ‘We cycled the whole day on the same “Specialized Turbo Levo”. We were able to climb over 1,500 metres of altitude with a 700 Wh battery in power mode,’ says van den Berg. But they still needed proper battery planning. According to the rules, the service team was not permitted to accompany the cyclists as they went in pursuit of their world record. Instead, the team had to wait at a fixed location: down in Klosters at the Gotschnabahn. This was the only place where batteries could be replaced or repairs could be made. In addition, only commercially available electric mountain bikes using normal batteries and capped at 25 km/h were permitted for use in the world record attempt.
Ralph van den Berg was already no stranger to world records in mountain biking. He broke the singletrack world record in Davos Klosters with Christoph Fässler back in summer 2021. Together, the pair covered 20,100 metres of altitude downhill in 16 hours, beating the previous singletrack world record by 516 metres. And best of all: they never covered the same trail twice. ‘I wanted to show that a father with a demanding job can still enjoy a quick adventure now and again,’ explained the 38-year-old. With its 700-kilometre singletrack network, biking destination Davis Klosters was the perfect stage for this feat – living up to its slogan ‘Sports Unlimited’.