What an incredible week of racing. Eleven world records. The Men’s world record broken three times. New records in armpower, multitrack, and junior categories. A final Saturday evening session that featured Todd resetting the Men’s record for a third time, Damjan finally getting 80 mph, and seven racers upgrading their hat status!
A team by team summary (which you can compare with a look back at my preview)
Aerovelo, Todd Reichert
Aerovelo came in more or less promising that they would break the record, and this time they executed perfectly. They arrived with ample support, including a physical trainer nutritionist duo, and a full media team. Todd was also in top physical form, not having had to spend as much time building the bike. Rather, the team spent the entire year fine tuning last year’s bike. Fiddling during the week was limited to relatively minor adjustments such as increasing the ventilation to the rider. Although they fell just short of their ultimate goal of 140 kph, Todd broke the men’s record three times. Just think of what they could have done with two more evening sessions (that were cancelled by weather). It is not clear whether they will be back next year, as both Todd and Cam are off to the San Francisco Bay Area to work in industry for perhaps one or two years. They also have a continuing interest in Human Powered aviation. Regardless of what they decide to do, they have put an emphatic mark on this event.
Team Eivie, Damjan Zabovnik
Damjan finally got his 80 mph hat after many years of trying. However, talking to him after the awards banquet he seemed rather subdued. He is still aiming for the overall Men’s record, but the distance to climb has been stretched quite a bit this past week. He is also greatly concerned about a potential rule change for next year that would ban launch carts. The rationale for banning carts while allowing pushers and skaters is not clear. His bike is far too low for skaters and pushers, hence his launch cart system, which has proven to be very reliable.
Team Cygnus, Jan-Marcel van Dijken
This was not to be Jan-Marcel’s year. There were some struggles with launches with the absence of Frans. Also, he said that without a warm up bike and trainer, it was difficult to have peak performance. I hope they have better luck next year.
Human Power Team Delft/Amsterdam: Velox V
It is difficult to know exactly what went wrong for this team this year. It seemed that there was a combination of both handling problems with the bike as well as limited seat time for the riders before the event. I was told that most of Liske’s training was actually on Velox4 as the new bike was not completed until August. Of course, Robert was a very late add to the team. I hope that the team returns, and that they return to their usually winning ways next year. They have clearly raised the profile of WHPSC in Europe with all of their past success. One thing I know for sure: if they return, I can predict the name of their new bike!
University of Liverpool Velocipede Team, Arion1
This first time team did very well. There were some struggles with bike handling as it appeared the riders did not have the opportunity to have tested the bike at high speeds. I heard that there was video of one of Ken’s crashes taken from a GoPro inside the shell. Each time, the team worked hard to repair the bike. One thing that I noticed when taking this picture is that they were running one of the square Michelin radials in the front, and a regular round profile tire in the back.
As the week went on, they got faster, and they capped off the week with a new British record of 75 mph. Next year? The team has to decide whether to tweak the exising bike or to rebuild from scratch. I was told the that the level of effort required to build this bike is unsustainable in the long run. They recognize that Arion1 is rather large and heavy.
If they do come back with the same bike, I hope that they can give Natasha some training time so that she can run as well. She elected to run their warmup bike, an unfaired M5, but was very frustrated by how noodly the frame was when she wanted to put the power down.
Team Polibent PulsaR
Another team that did extremely well for their first trip to Battle Mountain. Although their bike wasn’t as refined as some of the others, they had a very strong and small rider in Andrea. They also executed very well and didn’t have a crash or a blown launch all week.
Team Elan, Velos XS
Ellen and Hans were back with the Velow XS with a beautiful paint job that didn’t get scratched at all.
Ellen wasn’t able to equal her personal best. However, she did set a new Women’s Multitrack record in CO2, despite banging her knees on the inside of the fairing all the way down the course.
University of Toronto Human Powered Vehicle Design Team
This was a tough year for the HPVDT. They had hoped to campaign a bike based on the same shell as Eta, but they were hampered by a lack of experienced manpower as several key members elected to work for Aerovelo instead. Their backup plan of running two bikes was mainly aimed at getting some team members experience and hats, and in this regard, they succeeded.
Bluenose had a rough week and will need extensive repairs in order to be safe and fast again.
Beagle, Larry Lem and Tom Amick
Always the jokers.
Larry and Tom were back with Beagle, a new single bike. They were happy with its handling, but they were a bit disappointed in the performance. Once again, they were hoping for 70 mph, but both Larry and Tom got to upgrade their hats.
Team GeeBee CO2
Garrie Hill had multiple riders in the CO2 trike, and for his trouble, he got two world records for his team: Junior Men’s Multitrack for Florian, and Women’s Multitrack for Ellen.
Team Kowalik, Micro Moby, CO2
The Kowalik’s got an award for the world’s fastest family, and for very good reason. Three world records. Florian was disappointed in not going faster through the traps with CO2; I was told that he went 65 mph during one of his runs, which would have been good enough to get the overall Junior record. I’m sure that he’ll be back next year, and perhaps with a two wheeler. Ceci set a record as well, but she barely fit in Micro Moby and will need a new bike next year. Genna rode a monster run of over 40 mph that didn’t count because of wind, but she should be proud of her world record speed of 37.29 mph. I hope that both girls will come back again as well. All three kids will be in the same respective age groups next year and they will be one year faster.
Team Ascension, Teagan Patterson
This was a feel good story. Mark and Steve worked long hours to get Seiran done, and it hit the road for the first time on Thursday. Look at the wheel opening on the rear.
Teagan went faster with every run, and earned a 65 mph hat on her fourth and final run (with something in the drivetrain grinding as she went through the traps). Imagine what she would have done running all week. The American women’s record is close at hand, and beyond that perhaps 70mph? Hopefully we will get a chance to see next year.
Plymouth University Handcycle Project, with Liz McTernan
This was a collaboration between a team of builders and paracyclist Liz McTernan. Liz started off the week with a bang by riding her regular bike to a new Women’s Armpowered record. She went slower in the Beluga, and unfortunately this became a bone of contention for the team. Eventually, Liz elected to continue to run with Red Lightning, and Adam Kyte ran Beluga himself. Beluga did get a wind legal run of over 30 mph on the last day.
Liz could not better her record from earlier in the week, although she did reel off a very fast run on the five mile course. She said that the longer run suited her better than the sprint, but unfortunately we were not able to give her more chances at 5 miles since it took the entire time of a road closure for her to get down the course. She will go home with a world record in the 600m standing start sprint as well.
I’d like to acknowledge the rest of the team at the timing table. My good buddy and former neighbour Danny Guthrie was my right hand man all week.
Brad Teubner has always worked the 200m position at the front of the traps. He is absolutely reliable, and I think he enjoys the peace and quiet at that post.
Adam Hari worked a couple of sessions in the middle of the week, which was especially helpful when I had to step away from the timing table. Here he is watching Todd going through the traps. He is a race fan from Sydney who flew in to check WHPSC out. He wants to build a bike and race himself.
Finally, Michele Hammersmark helped us out for the final day. Since she was from Winnemucca and Battle Mountain, she was a gold mine of information about the local scene. Also as a physicist, she was able to teach Danny a thing or two about Excel.
Thanks to all the other volunteers as well. George and Carole did a bang up job at start. As per usual, Al and Alice ran the whole show very smoothly.
I hope to see you all next year.
If you want to see the full week’s results in one table, it is at the recumbents.com site.