The rules: No trail can be ridden twice, and no e-bikes. This is what the two amateur mountain bikers Silvan Marfurt (1988) and Ralph Van Den Berg (1985) stuck to yesterday when they set a new world record. In 16 hours, the two conquered a descent of 20,845 vertical meters in Davos Klosters. Hardly surprising! The Swiss biking destination is known for its almost infinite number of single track trails and its Bahnentour, or “cable car tour,” which is what inspired this world record. “The Bahnentour, with its descent of about 10,000 vertical meters, is my favorite Davos Klosters tour. I rode it several times to prepare,” stated Ralph Van Den Berg.
Cutting it close
The two headed out at four a.m., marking the start of a non-stop ride where every descent was on a different trail. They were on a very tight schedule. After 16 hours of trail and cable car riding, their GPS device showed that they’d reached the desired descent of 20,845 vertical meters. They’d made it! They beat the official single track world record by 229 vertical meters.
Single track world records a Swiss tradition
The single track world record is a long-standing tradition, and is held mostly by the Swiss. In 2010, Thomas Giger, together with René Wildhaber, set the first benchmark with a descent of 12,555 vertical meters. He beat his own record three years later along with Thomas Frischknecht, descending 13,572 vertical meters. Twins Caroline and Anita Gehrig beat the record in Vinschgau in 2014, descending 15,117 vertical meters. One year later, Ken Imhasly and Alain Gwerder were the first to cross the 20,000 meter threshold in Wallis, until they ceded the title to Silvan Marfurt and Ralph Van Den Berg in Davos Klosters.