The Human Power Team athletes are carefully selected from a pool of motivated athletes. The Human Movement Scientists from the VU Amsterdam conduct three selection rounds, in which they aim to find the perfect fit. By testing the endurance and sprint capabilities of the athletes with a variety of tests, and by conducting a series of interviews we aim to select athletes that are not only physically capable to break the world record, but are also just as motivated and excited as the rest of the team to work towards this goal for one year.
Throughout the year, the athletes are trained by the Human Power Team coaches. These Human Movement Sciences students provide the athletes with training scheduled which focus on endurance and sprinting, strength and core stability. By training their core, the athletes become better equipped to stabilise the VeloX, which is important because the VeloX 8 weights 40kg!
Racing in a VeloX
Being able to race in a VeloX takes a whole new motor skill which the athletes need to learn. To prepare the athletes, they start training on a recumbent bike as soon as possible. This way they get used to the balance and transfer of power necessary for cycling in a VeloX. While the engineers are busy designing and building the VeloX 8, the athletes spend time learning to ride in an old VeloX. Then, when the VeloX 8 is ready the athletes spend training days riding down a closed down road to master riding a VeloX. Here they do not yet get the full experience, but they get as close to racing in a VeloX as possible in the Netherlands.
Being able to break the Human Powered World Speed Record requires more than just extensive training. Together with the athletes, the Human Power Team focusses on a whole range of factors. Some examples are nutrition, mental strength, taper and acclimatisation. The Human Movement Scientists use the latest research developments in these areas to optimally prepare the atletes for the record attempt.
Age 24 Lives Leiden Studies ICT Law Works Reservist Dutch Defense
How she became an HPT Athlete
Jennifer has been rowing competitively at the highest level of university rowing for 3,5 years. She has participated in many large Dutch rowing competitions, and also won a fair share of these. Throughout her rowing career, she always had one goal: participating in a large international rowing competition. In October she reached this goal and was ready for a new challenge. One day prior to flying to Boston to start at the Head of the River Charles, she participated in the HPT selection tests. ‘By joining the Human Power Team, I have the unique opportunity to spend this year preparing for the World Human Powered Speed Challenge with the help of a super motivated team. I am glad that I get to experience all sorts of new challenges, from training on my own to learning to ride recumbent bike, all in preparation for the ultimate goal of breaking the female world human powered speed record.’
Lieke de Cock
Age 26 From Eindhoven Studied Applied Physics Works CelSian Glass & Solar
How she became an HPT Athlete
Growing up, Lieke spent many hours cycling from and to school along the Dutch coast but after moving to Eindhoven for her studies she was not very athletic at all. Two years ago however, this all changed when she signed up for a sprint triathlon in Nuenen. She started training on her own and surprised everyone, herself included, by coming in second overall. She soon realised cycling was her strongest discipline and became addicted to the sport. Becoming more serious, she started training with the Elite Women at TWC de Kempen.
As a little girl, Lieke dreamt of being in the Guiness Book of Records. For her, joining the Human Power Team was a chance to realise this, while doing what she loved: cycling. She also enjoys the combination of technology (as a self proclaimed physics nerd) and human movement sciences. ‘I really enjoy working with the current team and participating in this intensive programme to attempt to break the world record!’