Evandro Portela, the Brazilian cyclist whose video showing him drafting a truck at 124 kilometres an hour went viral in 2014 has set a new world record for the highest speed achieved on a bicycle on a public road, clocking up 202 kilometres an hour last Sunday.
The BR277 road between Curitiba and São José dos Pinhais was closed for 30 minutes on Sunday morning for his attempt at his own record, set earlier this year, of 184 kilometres an hour, reports Red Bull’s Brazilian website.
Portela had to struggle against a headwind to reach the speed of 50 kilometres an hour which would enable him to enter the vacuum created by the fairing on the rear of the Subaru WRX 4X4 350 HP Turbo car that was pacing him.
“It’s a great feeling, a dream come true and a great challenge,” he said afterwards.
“It wasn’t easy. I faced a headwind of 20 kilometres an hour, which made my progress very difficult.
“When I was at 190 kilometres an hour, I couldn’t see anything, the rear wheel was already in the air, but I managed to control the bike and keep pedalling.”
It took 11 kilometres for Portela to top the 200 kilometres an hour barrier – riding the distance in a shade over 6 and a half minutes.
It’s not the highest speed ever achieved on a bicycle, however. That distinction is held by Fred Rompelberg of the Netherlands who rode at an astonishing 268.831 kilometres an hour in October 1995.
His ride, listed by Guinness World Records as the ‘Fastest bicycle speed (in slipstream) male’ was undertaken at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA and he rode it in the slipstream of a dragster.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.