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Video: Liverpool students prepare for fastest human-powered vehicle attempt

Liverpool Velocipde Team heading to Battle Mountain in Nevada later this month

Later this month, a team of students in Liverpool is hoping to break the land speed record for the world's fastest human-powered vehicle. Using the ARION1 bicycle, they hope to beat the current records of 83.13mph (134km/h) for men and 75.69mph (122km/h) for women.

The University of Liverpool Velocipede Team will be attempting the record on the smoothest and flattest road in the world during the Battle Mountain World Human-Powered Speed Challenge in Nevada in the United States.

The record attempt involves all three universities in Liverpool. Mechanical engineering students from the University of Liverpool are working with sport science undergraduates and staff at Liverpool John Moores University and Hope University.

Team leader Benjamin Hogan described the recumbent bike to the BBC: "It has two wheels, it has steering, it has a seat and it has brakes. It has all the components that a normal bicycle would have but they've just been rearranged.”

Some of those components have also been scaled up somewhat. The bike features a 104 tooth chain ring and of course some poor soul has to turn it. The human engine is vitally important and after testing dozens of applicants (including Rob Hayles), three have been chosen – Ken Buckley, Dave Collins and Natasha Morrison.

A Facebook video shows how ARION1 is launched with one member of the team travelling a short distance with it on rollerblades. It has apparently reached 42mph in first gear but its full capabilities are not yet known. The World Human Powered Speed Challenge 2015 will be held between September 14 and 19.

In 2013, Graeme Obree made an attempt to beat the human-powered speed record at Battle Mountain. However the exposed course highlighted some flaws in ‘Beastie’ – the vehicle that he had designed – and after crashing the bike, he admitted that the new prone record of 56.62mph that he had already secured was "close to the maximum" for the machine.

However, Sebastiaan Bowier did record the current mark of 83.13mph that year in a bike called Vortex 3.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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