Frenchman Pierre Thévenard, a carpenter in Haute-Savoie, will fly to Nicaragua in February 2023, to the Cerro Negro volcano, with the goal of breaking the world speed record on land by mountain bike (104 mph).
The Cerro Negro, is nestled in the Maribios mountain range in Nicaragua. The altitude is 728 m, with an average slope of 50%, for a descent of 300 m in altitude, the "black hill" is the youngest volcano in Central America and the most active in the country, dormant for 23 years.
Its volcanic powder slope with small gravel awaits Pierre Thévenard and his mountain bike for a descent that he dreams of being historic. "There, it's a bit like a descent on snow in terms of sensation, but it allows you to stay a little stable because at this speed in a mountain scree, it would be suicide", 32-year-old Thévenard.
"Above 80 mph, I really feel like I'm flying." -Pierre Thévenard
From now on, supported by the town hall, it is essential in winter one or two descents each morning on the "Linga" track of Chatel, before the opening of the tracks, supervised by a team of trackers. On February 27, 2022, the brand posted a speed of 165.90 km/h, on snow. Promising.
"I'm trying this record for the sensations and the love of the bike smiles the one who has set up a gym at home, to work on the sheathing, essential to stay upright on the bike. It's a crazy adrenaline rush, we always want to relive it, always more. Even though my whole body is telling me to brake. I sometimes wonder if I'll have the same feelings on the volcano, it's so strong there, on this ski slope. But the fact of being in the context of the record will be exceptional."
Recently, he has also thought about the aerodynamics of all the equipment: helmet, suit, fins that extend the shape of the arms and legs, bike, wind tunnel training... "Above 80 mph, I I really feel like I'm flying" says the French downhill mountain bike champion, who is aiming for the 105 mph mark. The seconds pass by very quickly for me, I have the impression that time stops, it's magic.