British cyclist Neil Campbell has ridden in the tyre treads of French cycling hero Jean-Claude Rude – behind a Porsche and to record speeds. With the aero aid of a Porsche Cayenne Turbo, Campbell has set a new European cycling top speed record of 149mph.
The record attempt took place at the Straighteners event in Yorkshire, at Elvington Airfield. As well as being a significant test of Campbell’s endurance and of course the Cayenne’s ability to maintain a 150mph cruise, the attempt was a major stress on his bike.
Luckily they chose a frame up to the job. The Moss Bikes-built carbon fibre machine has 3D printed parts, a long wheelbase, special tyres and interchangeable gears. It can allegedly hold strong and stable at speeds of up to 200mph.
Taking a busman’s holiday for the attempt, was British drag racing champion Andy Frost. His usual sporting motor of choice is a dragster packing 4,000hp. A 550hp Porsche SUV seems very much a walk in the park. A reassurance to have it in capable hands, nonetheless.
One of the main challenges during the attempt wasn’t necessarily reaching the speed itself. Rather, actually getting slowed down in time to not leave the runway at the end.
“We’ve got so little space that it was essential that we got up to speed as quickly as possible” Campbell said.
“It’s an incredible feeling – to get 149mph on such a short runway is beyond anything I expected.”
This comes 40 years on from Jean-Claude Rude’s attempt at a record when he rode behind an extensively modified Porsche 935 to a one-way speed of 150mph.
A return run was abandoned when Rude got a puncture.
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