Austria’s Max Stöckl broke the world record speed for standard mountain bikes on gravel in the Atacama Desert in December.
In ideal conditions the 42-year-old reached a top speed of over 167 km per hour (104 miles per hour) on his run down a mountain in the Chilean desert.
After years of preparation Stöckl’s V-Max project came to fruition at around midday on December 13, 2016, on the 1200-metre (3,937 feet) long slope, a new world record.
Stöckl set his first speed record of 187 km per hour (116 miles per hour) on snow in Les Arcs in 1999, beating his mark in the Chilean Andes in 2007 with over 210 km per hour (130 miles per hour).
Having done everything he could on the snow, he then moved his focus to gravel slopes and in 2011 he sped down the volcanic cone of Cerro Negro in Nicaragua at 164.95 km per hour (102 miles per hour).
After eight test runs on the course, which started on a 45-degree slope at 3,972 metres (13,031 feet) altitude, Stöckl set his record 11 seconds and 650 metres (2,132 feet) into his run.
“It’s hard to really reach a top speed, it’s easy to get up to 100, 120km per hour (62-74 miles per hour), that’s not a big deal, but then after let’s say 160 each km per hour (99 miles per hour) is a huge effort and if you want to reach a certain goal then you have to put it all in,” he said.
“It was great fun and now everything I want to do is see my family.”