Markus Stockl Andreas Ehrensberger/Red Bull Content Pool

A new world speed record for serial mountain bikes on gravel has been set by Markus Stöckl. Here are the numbers that proved lucky for the Austrian athlete...


The all-important top speed in kilometres per hour set atop the Cerro Negro volcano in Nicaragua. Stöckl's run beat the previous record set by Frenchman Eric Barone nine years ago by just 1kph! Barone, who also holds the record for prototype bicycles, was seriously injured on the same slope as he was slowing down having set the previous record – a crash which abruptly ended his career – but he returned to witness Stöckl's record-breaking feat.


The 550-metre-long track for the current record attempt on gravel on the still active volcano Cerro Negro in Nicaragua led directly from the rim of the crater to the base. “The surface is like riding down a 45-degree beach of sand and pebbles. Only once you hit higher speeds is it possible to ride with some stability,” said Stöckl, explaining the treacherous nature of the attempt. “Riding this fast under these conditions is definitely at the limit,” said Barone.


Stöckl, or 'Hercules' as he is known in the mountain biking community on account of his imposing size – he stands 190cm-high and weighs 103 kg, has form for it! In 2007, he set the record for a bike on snow, achieving a top speed of 210.4kph in Chile, 23kph faster than his own record from eight years earlier.


Just like his most recent record, a lot of difficulties had to be overcome in 2007. South America’s springtime weather had melted away much of the snow alongside the piste, shrinking it to a narrow strip set up between bare mountain cliffs which made the test runs difficult to carry out. His aerodynamic helmet also fogged up while practicing, so Stöckl decided to hold his breath for the record attempt which lasted a total of 40 seconds.


Markus travels the world as an event manager and leads the MS Evil Racing Team. The cyclist has declared that his new aim is to break the speed record for prototype bicycles, set by Barone at 222kph. Stay tuned!


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null Andreas Ehrensberger/Red Bull Content Pool

Andreas Ehrensberger/Red Bull Content Pool




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