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.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.