Wanted: the fastest female cyclist in the Netherlands, to break the women’s cycling speed record of 122 km/h on a high-tech bicycle in the Nevada Desert in September 2017. All sportswomen, whether amateur or professional, are invited to take part.
Behind the quest for the fastest female cyclist are students from the Human Power Team (HPT) as well as Ellen van Dijk (alumna in human movement sciences), Marianne Vos and Marijn de Vries of cycling initiative Strongher.
The Human Power Team is a unique collaboration between TU Delft and the Vrije Universiteit. Not only are the students designing and building the whole bicycle at TU Delft, but they’re also selecting and training the athlete at the Vrije Universiteit. With this combination of disciplines, they hope to get the best out of both the people and the technology in order to secure the record for the Netherlands. The selection will take place this month. All female athletes, whether amateur or professional, can register on the Human Power Team website. In order to select the best athlete, the Team will subject the women to a capacity test designed to simulate the record attempt.
Women belong at the top
This year, the students achieved a speed of 125 km/h with Jan Bos, and next year’s target is the world speed record for women. ‘The Netherlands is definitely a cycling country with female athletes who belong at the top internationally. That’s why we want to take up the challenge with a female cyclist,’ says Emiel de Boer, team manager for the Human Power Team Delft & Amsterdam. A number of technological aspects will also change this year. The new design will be fully tailored to the female cyclist. In September, the new rider will have to pedal faster than 122 km/h to beat the current world record.
Women’s cycling on the map
Marit Huisman, project manager at Strongher: ‘It’s good to see that the future generation of engineers and human movement scientists have just as much desire as we do to put women’s cycling on the map. That’s why we’re pleased to be able to help them find the best candidate. Strongher was established to provide a platform on which women all over the world could present themselves, and being able to work with the Human Power Team to find the fastest woman in the world fits perfectly with this goal.’ De Boer: ‘We are delighted to be able to use Strongher’s large network of female cyclists to find our athlete for the world record attempt in September.’