Austrian daredevil rides 167kph down a gravelly mountain in Chile

Max Stöckl steers Mondraker Summum to new world record

Not content with setting insane speed records on snow, Austrian daredevil Max Stöckl has just hit a jaw-dropping 167.6kph on gravel in the Atacama Desert, Chile

The Austrian rider chose Mondraker's Summum Carbon Pro Team for his world record attempt
The Austrian rider chose Mondraker's Summum Carbon Pro Team for his world record attempt

The Red Bull rider, 42, chose a Mondraker Summum Carbon Pro Team for his latest record attempt, fitted with Fox Performance Elite forks with 205mm travel up front and a Fox DHX2 Factory Kashima shock out back with 222x70mm of travel.

Stöckl uses a specially-made protective suit similar to those worn by downhill skiers
Stöckl uses a specially-made protective suit similar to those worn by downhill skiers

While crashing at these kinds of speeds on the harsh gravel of the Atacama Desert is always going to hurt, Stöckl was wearing a specially-made protective suit similar to those worn by downhill skiers, which inflates in the event of a crash like a car airbag, and a self-made helmet in two parts.

His whole run lasted 1,200m and just 20 seconds
His whole run lasted 1,200m and just 20 seconds

He started off at 3,972m of altitude, setting off down a 45-degree slope – equivalent to a 100 percent gradient.

His run lasted 1,200m and it took him took 11 seconds, or 650m, to reach his top speed.

It's official: you CAN hit 167kph on gravel
It's official: you CAN hit 167kph on gravel

“It was so exhausting, even though the ride only lasted for 20 seconds," said Stöckl afterwards.

"I just can’t express the feeling in words. Even if you know it is only going to be 10 or 15 km/h quicker than the last training run — standing up on the summit of the mountain, looking down and feeling the adrenaline was a very moving moment!”

It took the rider two years of intensive preparations before he was ready to make the journey to Chile, travelling with a six-person support team.

His previous top speed on gravel of 164.95kph was recorded down the volcanic cone of Cerro Negro in Nicaragua back in 2011.

So what will the Austrian daredevil do now? Go back home and see his daughter grow up
So what will the Austrian daredevil do now? Go back home and see his daughter grow up

Both these speeds are dwarfed by his all-time top speed of more than 210kph on snow in the Chilean Andes back in 2007.

So what are his plans now he's broken his own gravel record? "Now I want to go home to see my family and see my daughter grow up!”

Jamie Beach

Deputy Editor, UK
Jamie's been addicted to bikes from the moment his stabilisers came off. Earliest cycling memory is the chipboard-ramp-on-bricks, but happiest one is bombing down a Mallorcan mountain pass that seemed it might never end. Always on the hunt for the perfect rain jacket, a keen collector of hats.
  • Discipline: Road, gravel
  • Preferred Terrain: Big mountains with long climbs, equally long and fast descents, the chance to get above the treeline.
  • Current Bikes: Genesis Croix de Fer, Brompton M3L
  • Dream Bike: BMC TeamMachine SLR01, Moots Routt
  • Beer of Choice: Augustiner
  • Location: Bath, Somerset, UK

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