Steegmans fastest man in Euro peloton
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Steegmans fastest man in Euro peloton

by Conal Andrews at 6:42 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

He has raced very little this season due to a dispute with his former team Katusha, but Gert Steegmans can lay claim to reaching the highest speeds of in the European peloton. The Belgian sprinter clocked up a staggering 134 kilometres per hour (83.3 mp/h) in a recent mini-contest run by Flemish broadcaster VRT.

The double Tour de France stage winner beat Dominique Cornu, who reached 121 kilometres, and Belgian champion Jurgen Roelandts’ 114 kilometres.

The contest was run and filmed as part of a video slot for VRT, tying in with the Flandrien 2009 awards on Saturday where Philippe Gilbert was awarded the prize for Belgian rider of the year. Mark Cavendish was named International Flandrien of the year.

According to Sportwereld, the riders made five individual efforts of 1.2 kilometres on a military airport in Brustem. Each was behind an Audi Q7 and used its slipstream to reach the high speeds.

The world record is set by the Dutchman Fred Rompelberg, who reached 268.8 kilometres per hour behind a dragster on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. However, unlike Steegmans, Cornu and Roelandts, his bike was specially modified for the 1995 feat and had two different chainsets in order to give the massive gears that were required.

The three Belgians used standard equipment and received less shelter behind the Audi.

Steegmans will race for Radio Shack next season, and will hope to use his speed to get his career fully back on track.

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