Max Stöckl is a speed demon if there ever was one. He’s been setting downhill speed records on production mountain bikes for a decade now, starting in 2007 with a speed of 210 km/h on a snowy slope, then in 2011 he broke the gravel record with a speed of 164.95 km/h. Fast forward 10 years and the 42-year-old is showing no signs of slowing down as Stöckl has just broken his gravel mark with a speed of 167.6 km/h. The Austrian athlete and his six-person support team chose a mountain slope in Chile’s Atacama Desert that had a summit of 3,972 meters, a 45-degree slope at the start area, and a runoff that was 1200 meters from top to bottom.
“It was so exhausting, even though the ride only lasted for 20 seconds,” said Max. “I just can’t express the feeling in words. Even if you know it is only going to be 10 or 15 k/h quicker than the last training run — standing up on the summit of the mountain, looking down and feeling the adrenaline was a very moving moment!”