Moment in Time: INTENSE and the Fastest Man on Earth… well… Snow!
Over 200 km/h on a bike… you may ask ‘why?’, Markus Stöckl would probably reply, ‘why not!’.
On Friday, 14th September 2007, the then 33 year old Austrian Markus Stöckl set a new world speed record for a standard ‘stock’ bike on snow. The bike that he was riding on was an INTENSE M6. Stöckl reached a crazy speed of 210.4 km/h (130.7 mph) in La Parvaran in the Chilean Alps. He was allowed to ride in a futuristic aerodynamic suit and helmet, but for his speed to be recognized as an official world record the bike he was riding had to be unmodified. That meant no fairings, no streamlining, no tweaks at all. Anyone could buy this bike off-the-shelf.
Back in 2007 Stöckl was already heavily involved with INTENSE. He ran the MS (Markus Stöckl) Racing INTENSE team on the World Cup circuit for three seasons from 2006 to 2008, and he had some amazingly talented riders on the team. Racers like Chris Kovarik, Claudio Caluori, Vanessa Quin, Mio Suemasa, Matti Lehikoinen and many others.
The whole record attempt was very last minute, so much so that Stöckl had to use the shoes that he had travelled in, as he had left the ones he had planned to use at home! The 45 degree, 2km long slope was already quickly disappearing in the Chilean springtime heat as Stöckl made his attempt, but he nailed it – even though he had to hold his breath for the whole of the 40 second record attempt, as his visor kept steaming up!
Thirteen years later Stöckl’s record still stands, and Markus and his MS team is still heavily involved in downhill mountain bike racing.
Photos: Alfredo Escobar/Red Bull Photofiles