I’m in Dubai for the cycling. Yes, I do know the Tour of Qatar starts next week and, no, I haven’t got my dates and dunes jumbled. Extreme Polish cyclist Krystian Herba was in town to break records – Guinness Book of Records. Yesterday, to celebrate the second anniversary of the world’s tallest hotel, he climbed 2,040 stairs on his bicycle in a new record time. The previous record of 2,008 steps was set four years ago by Zhang Jincheng, Xavi Casas and Javier Zapata in the Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai, China.
The 30-year old Herba’s attempt was eagerly anticipated and he set off from the hotel lobby at 11am, after a countdown by hotel guests. He then took to the stairs of the 72 floor hotel on his customised, Euros 5,000 saddles-less ROMET bike and – without setting so much as a toe to the ground – used his upper body to hoist himself and his bike up each flight of stairs. Accompanied by his eight-strong support team – including his brother – he climbed 23 floors, took the lift back down – still on his bike – and then climbed a further 68 making a total of 91 flights. He had hoped to achieve this feat in around 1 1/2 hours but he completed the mind-bogglingly strenuous task in 1:13:41!
As soon as he’d achieved his target, Herba somersaulted over his handlebars and landed on his feet to give a dramatic flourish to his amazing achievement and wow the waiting crowd of more than 50 people. He put his strength down to the fact that the hotel restaurant served excellent steak which he’d been eating regularly to build up his strength ahead of his attempt. The hotel’s management were equally delighted with the historical attempt which has garnered many column inches of publicity for the hotel. Adam Krzymowski, the Polish Ambassador to the UAE said
“It is very important for me and the Polish community. I drove all the way from Abu Dhabi just to watch and congratulate him on his efforts.”
After completing the challenge, Krystian Herba said:
“What I just accomplished was a defining triumph in my career and I cannot express how happy I am to be able to get the new world record at Rose Rayhaan by Rotana, the tallest hotel in the world. This is indeed a dream come true for me!”
Herba who’s been riding for 18 years, started stair climbing in 2009 and this is his seventh tower climbing adventure. The others took place in Europe and he’d previously only managed 1,212 steps. So this challenge was a big step up. He’s apparently in talks with both representatives from CN Tower in Toronto and Taiwan’s Taipei 101. But Herba’s set his sights on the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building which is also in Dubai.