Cavendish scales Himalayan mountain on exercise bike

PARIS (AFP) – British cycling star Mark Cavendish and former teammate Luke Rowe endured over 10 hours in the saddle of an exercise bike to climb 8,848 metres, the equivalent of scaling Everest.

“Just Everested, vEverested, whatever you call it, with @LukeRowe1990,” the 34-year-old Isle of Man-born sprinter announced on Twitter.

The pair accomplished the latest homespun feat by a sports star in coronavirus lockdown in 10 hours 37 minutes and 32 seconds.

After the 211 kilometre virtual ascent he added: “We had the idea when we knew the weather would be bad.

“I take my hat off to anyone who’s completed it in whatever capacity, it was grim.”

The cyclist, who requires four more Tour de France stage wins to equal Belgian legend Eddy Merckx’s record of 34, last month revealed he had come through a two-year battle with clinical depression.

He is not the first professional cyclist to tackle a vertiginous challenge during lockdown.

Italian Giulio Ciccone managed a climb of over 10,000 metres from his balcony last month on a similar training bike as Cavendish used.

And former Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas raised GBP300,000 for Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) after a 36-hour indoor cycling stint.

The Welshman rode a trio of 12-hour rides over three days on a turbo bike in the garage of his home in Cardiff in a bid to raise funds to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.