Infinit Nutrition Canada - Premium Sport-Specific Nutrition

Thursday, October 22, 2020

"Look Ma, We Made It" - Everesting Cycling

 Jason Vettorel completes the Everest Ride with the 3rd fastest time in Canada & 31st in the World! 

What is Everesting?

When COVID-19 essentially cancelled the whole season, Jason decided to target a half Everest which he completed back in August. At that point, he had no intention of doing the full thing. "The half actually went all wrong for me. I didn't pick the right climb, I was dehydrated, I didn't eat enough, the conditions were too hot, the list goes on. A friend who did it with me then somehow convinced me to do the full Everest later in the year (last weekend), so I promised myself that things would go differently on my 2nd chance."


Jason completed the Everest Ride on "Bowles Hill" which is right beside Beaver Valley Ski Club on Grey Road 30, near Collingwood. He exhaustively reviewed almost every climb in Southern Ontario and his consensus was that this was the most ideal hill for a fast Everest within a 2 hour drive of Toronto. The average gradient is 12%, the length of the climb was 670m, with 79m of elevation gain per lap. (see image below)



Jason's Ride

It took him 9hr 14 mins of moving time and 9hr 17 mins elapsed time (3min total off the bike). "I stopped once to go pee about halfway through and a second time to adjust my brakes as I was quickly burning through my rim brake pads on the fast descent (hitting speeds of 86 kmph) which I had to complete 112 times. I had a new set of brake pads the week before and they were completely melted by the end of the day."


"I have a coach who I've been with for about 1.5 years and he makes me a custom training plan depending on my goals and schedule." In the months leading up to this, he had done tons of tempo and threshold intervals with his coaches guidance and also some longer 6-8 hour rides with a fair bit of climbing. He also went to the hill that he was planning on Everesting 4-5 times in the weekends leading up to it, where he did 30 of the 112 laps one time and practised feed zone handoffs, turn around points, his braking marker and perfected the segment that he was planning on doing. The half Everest he did in August also served as a really good test run and prep. "My mom has also been the most amazing person through all of this, she gave up a number of her weekends to come with me on the 2 hour drive to the climb to hand me bottles + food and keep me company. On the day of the Everest she was there the whole day and was my "captain" in the feed zone, tracking all my intake and making sure I stayed on track with the nutrition/hydration plan. I titled my ride on Strava "Look Ma, We made it" because she was such a big part of this effort and I could not have done it without her."



Since he didn't get enough water or carbs in on the half Everest, he decided he needed to take in more calories in a liquid form so he ordered 2 bags of Infinit Ride Carb Drink. "When I reviewed the product online and mentioned I was going to use this product for an Everesting, Darcy reached out to me directly and gave me a spreadsheet to fill out to calculate exactly how much water I was losing per hour on the 30 lap test run. We calculated that I would need to drink about 600-660mL per hour to keep up with the water I was losing. Having this carb drink was a massive key to my ride as it was very easy to drink, sat in my stomach well and tasted good too."


"The day went like a dream for me, the prep work that I did paid off and I felt really strong and solid the whole day - not once did I feel like I "cracked" which unfortunately means that I probably wasn't going hard enough haha." He had quite a few friends show up to support him by either cheering him on at the bottom or actually riding a few laps with him on the climb. In the fall last year he got really sick, was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome and was hospitalized for 1 month and could barely walk for 3 months and was off the bike completely for 6 months. He started training again very slowly in February 2020 with the goal of returning to his original strength. "I not only got back to my original strength but I came back even stronger and more motivated than ever before. My mental game was now on another level. This successful recovery really fuelled my motivation and I would always think back to how awful it was being bedridden for that long and how grateful I was to be able to ride at a strong level again. Everything I have done since going through that recovery process has felt easy."



Some tips for anyone else thinking of attempting an Everest Ride:

  • Do your research for the "right climb." Ideally something as steep as possible that you can still ride under your threshold and not super long intervals, a 4-6 min climb with around a 1min recovery on the descent is ideal I think.
  • Dial in your gearing - I spent a couple weeks constantly changing around my chainrings and cassette to find the right gears for the climb. I ended up going with a compact front chainring (34T) and an 11-34T rear cassette. This was perfect for the 12-15% gradients that I encountered at the Bowles Hill climb.
  • Plan a good taper week beforehand to make sure you are well rested on the day. No sense doing any big volume rides in the 1 week before.
  • CARB LOAD - Pretty much all I ate for 3 days before the event was brown rice, naan bread, pasta, and oatmeal. Also drinking lots of water in the days before.
  • Use a bike with disc brakes - especially if you are doing a climb with lots of reps like I did.  The rim brakes just can't handle that amount of heat and repetitions.
  • Dial in your nutrition plan for the day of beforehand - I made a spreadsheet for my mom in the feed zone to show her exactly what I wanted on specific laps for the full day and I had them force me to follow it. Even if I was not thirsty or hungry I had them handing me bottles and gels based on the plan I had prepared. I made sure to take in 90g of carbs per hour 660mL of water per hour (based on the testing I did with Darcy beforehand), lots of sodium and then also caffeine doses every so often.
  • LIQUID CALORIES - Taking in almost all my calories through the Infinit carb drink and then topping up with liquid gels was essential to my fast time. Especially in the colder conditions 2-6C, any solid food becomes almost frozen solid after 1 hour at the side of the road and since your jaw and hands become cold, it becomes very difficult to chew and digest 90g of carbs per hour if you are trying to eat solids/real food. The Ride carb drink allowed me to take in a lot of quality calories almost effortlessly.


He is already thinking that if the race season is again cancelled next year he will absolutely have another shot at an Everest 2021. "It is difficult to prep for a race season as a sprinter and also train for this amount of climbing at the same time so the race season will take priority but when I do it again, I would likely go to Quebec for it where there are steeper and longer hills (900m long at 14-15% average). I would love to go for an 8 hour or sub - 8hour time on the full which I think is very possible for me with the right prep, gearing and training."



"It was an emotional day for me that I was really happy to share with my family and friends at the bottom of the climb when I finished. It was really amazing to prove to myself that anything is possible if you want it badly enough - especially considering how bad of shape I was in, less than 1 year ago."



*All quotes from Jason Vettorel 



- Mackenzie Siddall, Marketing Coordinator, Infinit Nutrition Canada