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Richie Porte 'everests' the Col de la Madone in epic 270km ride

Joe Robinson
5 Aug 2019

Trek-Segafredo rider completes the mammoth 8,848m target across 14 hours of riding

Richie Porte put an underwhelming Tour de France behind him by returning to his home in Monaco and 'everesting' the Col de la Madone, posting the entire ride to Strava.

The Trek-Segafredo rider went out for a training ride on Saturday 3rd August with former professional triathlete and fellow Australian Cameron Wurf to climb the Alpine climb 10 and a half times in celebration of Wurf's 36th birthday.

To anybody unaware of the masochistic challenge, it's pretty simple. Pick a hill and ride repeats of it in one ride until you match the equivalent height of Mount Everest in elevation – 8,848m.

The Madone is a 12.95km climb that snakes away from the Riviera town of Menton into the Maritime Alps, climbing for 853m at an average of 6.7% to reach its summit height of 905m.

This meant that Porte and Wurf had to ride up and back down the Madone for 10 and a half reps to match the elevation in a mammoth ride that lasted 14 hours, 22 minutes (16 hours and 20 minutes if you consider elapsed time), with the pair actually ending with over 9,000m in elevation, almost double the height gain you would find on even the toughest of Grand Tour mountain stages. 

The Aussie duo averaged a respectable average speed of 18.8kmh, maxing at 68kmh, in a ride that saw the pair cover a mighty 270.95km overall.

While Porte rode sans power (at least for us to see), Wurf did, averaging 165W for the entire ride and maxing out at only 444W. Wurf also chugged along with an average cadence of 61rpm (slightly skewed by all the descending) and a heart rate of 99bpm.

With everesting being the name of the game, the Strava KOM for the Madone was never under threat.

Not that it would have bothered Porte, as the 34-year-old currently holds that accolade anyway, completing the 9.77km Col de la Madone via Gorbio' segment in a lightning 24 minutes, 23 seconds, almost two minutes faster than second best, Chris Froome.

Porte also holds the 'unofficial' record for the full Madone climb having set a time of 29 minutes 40 seconds ahead of the 2014 Tour de France, reaching the summit 29 seconds faster than Froome.

The Australian's time was also a minute quicker than the original benchmark time of 30 minutes 47 seconds set by Lance Armstrong in the lead up to the 1999 Tour, with the American using the climb as his yearly pre-Tour tester.