Although Rabobank-sprinter Theo Bos started much faster on his racing bike, it didn't take long for his brother Jan Bos to catch up and sprint past him with the streamlined recumbent VeloX2. With this friendly race students from the University of Technology Delft and the VU Amsterdam revealed their new record bicycle, the VeloX2, in the port of Rotterdam.
In the end of June, the team will attempt to break the world hourrecord (91.6 km) in Germany, and in September they travel to Battle Mountain in Nevade (USA) and will try to break the world sprintrecord of 133 kph.
Last year September, with their first attempt in Battle Mountain, the team missed the world record by a hair. Sebastiaan Bowier sprinted to a speed of 130 kph, just a fraction slower than the world record of 133 kph. But this year, the students are back with an even faster bike, and a reinforcement to the bikers' team: ex-world champion ice scating Jan Bos!
Not only does the team have better athletes, the bike itself has been improved significantly as well. "The bikers don't pedal in circles anymore, but their feet move in a long ellips." Paul Denissen says. "Because of this, we could make the "nose" of the bike a lot sleeker." The students also improve the aerodynamics by eliminating the front window: the riders now see the road on a screen in the bike. Besides this, the students made a very light and stiff monocoque construction. To accomplish this, they could use resins produced by innovation partner DSM, which has also developed resins for several olympic innovations like the Olympic Dutch eight. In the end, the students expect that the VeloX2 has 30% less aerodynamic drag compared to its predecessor.
Sebastiaan Bowier and Jan Bos are selected for this year's sprint record attempt, Alwin Visker and Wil Baselmans are selected for the hourrecord attempt. The bikers are training since November last year. "Although the pedalling system in the VeloX2 has a lot advantages for the aerodynamics, the bikers still have to get used to the new motion to deliver their maximum power". Niels Lommers says, head trainer of the team and student of the VU Amsterdam. "Every rider has its own recumbent bicycle on which we have mounted the elliptical system, so by now, they are completely accostumed to it."
Journalist Marijke Groes of AmsterdamFM on location:
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