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On 27th January, join Ultra Cyclist, Travel Guide for Pa-Cycling and Elite Ambassador, Ignacio Pellejero, affectionately known as “Nacho,” as he tackles his first ever virtual Everesting on Zwift which is being facilitated by Mountain Massif.

Nacho is not new to the whole “Everesting” concept having completed three in real life, in some of the most unique locations in the world, but this challenge he feels will be particularly special given the fact that he will have to contend with not physically moving from the same spot, for an extended period of time. 

I connected which Nacho to find out more about his adventures.

Who is Nacho? 

Nacho, who is only 34 years old, is a Film Maker, Photographer and Ultra Cyclists that has managed to combine his passions together and now works as a Travel Guide. He is based in Girona, Spain.  Originally from Venezuela, Nacho moved to Spain aged 9 with his family who had relocated to the Basque Country, situated in northern Spain. Following the passing of his father in 2014, and inspired by his older brother, who is a passionate cyclist, Nacho put a plan in motion that would change the course of his life and would bring him experiences that were unimaginable.  By 2016, he sold his worldly belongs and set out on a bikepacking adventure with his friend Simon.  His original plan was to travel from Patagonia, in South America, to Cusco in Peru, a 5000km journey on his trusted mountain bike, that would take 9-months, but as we all know in life, plans change and this was certainly the case with Nacho and Simon.

Soon into his journey, Nacho’s unique skillsets of photography and film making were in demand and he found that as he made his way through the countries with his bike, he was able to generate an income by offering his services to local businesses, which enabled him to generate an income and to extend his travels, which can be viewed in their Instagram account here.  Such was his success that he decided to continue his journey to Alaska.

Fate would intervene and Nacho would not make it to Alaska.  But sometimes, fate can be kind and in Nacho’s case it certainly was.  Having reached their original destination of Cusco (Peru), Nacho continued his bikepacking adventure and in 2020, whilst stopping in Quito in Ecuador, met his now wife, Luisa. Simultaneously, the global pandemic hit and this stopped Nacho progressing any further.  As the wheels on Nacho’s bike stopped turning momentarily, he and Luisa married, whilst his travelling companion, Simon, who Nacho refers to “as life a brother” returned home to Spain.

It was whilst Nacho was settled in Ecuador, that his desire for adventure needed to be met and so he entered his first Ultra Mountain bike race.  Several months later in October 2020, he had completed his first Ultra Mountain bike race, done so on his trusted steed, his 17-kilogram mountain bike that had taken him the length of the entire South American continent.  Nacho described the experience as “Beautiful, it was a really amazing experience.”  An Ultra Cyclist was born.

Challenges and achievements

The first international challenge Nacho undertook was a 1000km race in Chile, over the mountains.  Nacho noted “This was where I was proving myself as an Ultra Cyclist.  I suffered, but finished 3rd. “

Shortly after this race, he completed his first Everesting in Ecuador, taking a combined time of 14 hours, totalling 241km, which at that moment, was the record in Ecuador.

The following year, Nacho would become the first ever person to complete an Everesting on the world-famous Galapagos Islands.  As Nacho explained “I had finished recording a sports challenge documentary and had a day free before Ieaving and I had my bike, so thought I would do it.  There is only one road possible and decided to do it on my gravel bike, with 42” tires.”  Nacho completed this impromptu Everesting in 15 hours, cycling 259km in the process.  The biggest challenge was the nutrition.  Nacho noted “I had to get a tour company to take a cool box full of supplies to the top of the Volcano, which was where I was riding, because I couldn’t carry it.  I was fully self-supporting.  On my first ascent, I cycled up with bottles, which I refilled from the cool box which fortunately the tour company had left.”

Coming full circle, and now living back home in Spain with his wife, after accepting a role as a Travel Guidee with a company called Pa-Cycling  Nacho finished 4th in the Basajaun race in 2023 in the Basque Country, where he grew up, this was an important event because his family were there to see him at the finish, which is no mean fete because the race describes itself as “The ultimate unassisted gravel event in Europe. With a route of 850km and + 15,000m, it shows the most extreme contrasts between the green of the wildest forests in Europe, the plains and the deserts next to huge mountains in both the Pyrenees and the Sierra de la Demanda.”

Virtual Everesting and Elite

After Nacho’s exploits got recognised, Nacho and Elite connected and Nacho soon became an Elite Ambassador and a vEveresting attempt seemed an ideal challenge to tackle.  Keen to support such an undertaking, Mountain Massif is helping facilitate Nacho’s endeavour by hosting the event on Zwift. Nacho’s endeavour will start with a group ride up the Alpe du Zwift, beginning at 7.00Am GMT / 8.00AM CET on Saturday 27th January, which you can be sign up here.    Upon finishing the group ride, Nacho will continue on to complete the other 7 and a half ascents up the mountain, which you are welcome to join him on.  It is estimated that the first ascent will take around 1 hour 10 minutes.

To tackle the vEversting challenge, Nacho will be using Elite’s premium trainer, the Justo, pronounced “joosto.”  This is certainly one of the top trainers on the market at this moment of time and its power meter accuracy is within 1%.   The trainer provides a really smooth ride due to its large pulley and flywheel weighing it at 6.2kg.  The Justo’s faster data transfer at 10Hz is a significant improvement compared to other trainers in the market at 4Hz.

To keep Nacho cool he will be using Elite’s fan the Aria.  The Aria is Elite’s new smart fan and is designed to accurately replicate the feel of outdoor rides with a smart air flow, automatically adjusted based on the intensity of the ride. 

I asked why Nacho has decided to tackle this daunting task and he commented “The reason for doing the challenge is that I like the mental challenge.  I believe that humans are mentally stronger and it is the mind that controls the body.  For me, personally speaking this is going to be the toughest test because I will be stuck in one place and is an absolute mental challenge.  Overcoming this will be an achievement.”

Summing up

Cycling is central to Nacho’s life and has been for many years and with Cycling events committed to throughout the year, vEveresting will certainly be an excellent way to kickstart his preparation and by riding in the event, provides a great opportunity for the cycling community to engage someone who has a genuine passion for cycling and what it offers, as it certainly has transformed his life.  Come and join the event by clicking here.  To follow Nacho on Instagram click here.