Interview: Frischknecht Conquers The Matterhorn
Conquers The Matterhorn
We recently asked Thomas Frischknecht what he had been doing over the past year with so many mountain bike races being canceled. As the team manager for Scott, he had to have found something else to do for excitement, we figured. We were right.
“It’s been a crazy year indeed,” Frischknecht told us. “I sure missed the racing action a lot. But, being forced to stay at home for the first time in 30 years, not traveling 200 days a year, left me with the freedom of doing things I have never done before—more than that, doing things nobody did before!—a 4000-meter (13,123-feet) descent from the peak of the famous Matterhorn near Zermatt to Visp, the very bottom of the Valais Valley.
“Getting to the start line itself—the Matterhorn at 4478 meters (14,692 feet) high—was a lifetime bucket-list accomplishment. It involved three hours of rock climbing in airy heights, at least out of the perspective of a cyclist.
“Then the project itself: From the peak of the Matterhorn down to where my mountain guide and myself left our bikes the night before. This was again a three-hour and 1500-meter (4921 feet) climb down. From there we had a 50-kilometer (31-mile) downhill, dropping 3500 meters (11,483 feet), which took us almost another four hours. All in all, we were moving 10 hours.
“This route with its climb and bike combination was a first—an epic day that pushed my limits. Obviously, this project required some training and preparation. This was only possible thanks to this COVID year where I found the time to chase my dream. It sure was a next-level adventure!”