AFPTV/Getty: Dutch students set world land-speed record

It was enough to make this Dutchman dance, as the Netherlands’ Human Power Team Delft set the new world land-speed record.
Sebastiaan Bowier powered his high-tech and aerodynamic racing machine more than 83 miles per hour, clenching the 13 year title of ‘fastest cyclist on the planet’ by just a fraction.

With results so close, Nevada officials with the International Human Powered Vehicle Association delayed the announcement to confirm the speed met their strict rules.
?SOUNDBITE 1 Woulter Lion (man), Team Delft Manager (English, 8 sec):
“The equipment inside says 135 [km/h] (83 mph) so we’re now waiting for the officials to announce the official speed.”
?The annual gathering takes place on what organizers call the flattest and most forgiving surface in the world–should the inevitable crash occur.
Glowworm, the racing bike built for two–wound up, well, split in two, while trying for the world’s fastest tandem bike record.
And one very determined Russian competitor refused to allow this devastating round of wrecks to keep him form a much applauded finish at week’s end.
After his world record was confirmed rider Sebastiaan Bowier shared his secrete to success.

SOUNDBITE 2 Sebastien Bowier (man), Human Land Speed Record winner (English, 21 sec):
“You’ve got the bike. It’s got to be aerodynamic, smooth, low rolling resistance, it has to be quick as hell. And then you’ve got the rider, that’s got to be in top condition, [have] a lot of power and has to be able to control this bike.”

The team’s project manager says the biggest aerodynamic advance came from a discovery made on the racecourse:

SOUNDBITE 1 Woulter Lion (man), Team Delft Manager (English, 19 sec):
“Our strongest rider has really big shoulders. And when he pushes really hard it pushes the bicycle outward, which changed the aerodynamic shape of the bike by a tiny bit, but we’re talking really small differences here, this is like one-one-and-a-half miles an hour, and that made a really big difference.”

Small improvements, all which add up to a single word:

Amazing! Of course, because it’s the world record.