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Video: Thunder-thighed track cyclist Robert Förstemann takes on a toaster

Can German star turn a piece of white bread a crisp shade of golden brown?

It’s fair to say that German track cycling star Robert Förstemann has the most thunderous thighs in cycling, with a circumference of 74cm – but just how much power can his legs put out? Well, the answer, according to this video is … enough to toast a slice of bread.

We’ve come across harnessing pedal power to generate electricity before – mobile-phone battery charging and a Christmas tree powered by cyclists are two examples, and a sheriff in Arizona even got prisoners pedalling to generate power so they could watch TV.

And back in 2009, with the help of the company Electric Pedals, BBC One show Bang Goes The Theory recruited an entire peloton of cyclists to power a family home in Cheltenham.

Here’s Förstemann, winner of a bronze medal at London 2012 in the team sprint – improbably, he’d been included in the German team as a mountain biker thanks to a UCI rule that allows cyclists to switch disciplines if needed – taking on the Toaster Challenge.

We’re not sure who exactly is behind the initiative, but it is certainly grabbing attention including on Twitter with the #toasterchallenge hashtag, and the message seems to be one about how much energy even the most routine of daily tasks takes up.

Since the video of Förstemann was uploaded yesterday, two more clips have gone up on its YouTube channel, both featuring Swedish athletes – Olympic rower Lassi Karonen, and cross-country skier, Ida Ingemarsdotter.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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