European Speed Battle 2021

European Speed Battle

Having regard to the cancellation of the WHPSC for the second consecutive year Team Policumbent and Politecnico of Torino decided to organize an “at home” event: the European Speed Battle. Their vehicles, all human powered, challenged with the ones of another European team both to beat the hour record and the speed one on a closed circuit with a bicycle in the Stellantis proving ground in Balocco.

The race

The hour record is the one for the longer distanza run in a single hour by a bicycle. Every cyclist tries to break the record alone on the track, without any other competitors around. On the record of speed at low altitude consists to the vehicle to speed up and measure the speed in a 200-meter trap. The speeds reached depend on the route and even the ovals can lend themselves to push vehicles at speeds above 100 km/h, improving the world not in altitude.

Our results

Two days were therefore held under the banner of sport, engineering, and teamwork, which can be summarized as follows:

On Saturday the Policumbent started with the best of intentions: Andrea Gallo attempted an hour record keeping a high pace that gave hope for an exceptional result. However, the fogging of the plexiglass interfered with his success and forced him to stop the test shortly after the first half hour passed. The visibility problems also continued for Ellen Van Vugt, from the Netherlands, and Vittoria Spada, who, due to the strong light, were struggling to ride safely. Ellen, however, managed to attempt the speed record reaching 81.4 km/h.


Sunday gave a few more clouds and allowed Ellen to attempt an hour record, which was then blocked in the middle of the race by the cyclist's decision.
Andrea Gallo, on the other hand, thanks to the changes made to Phoenix by the guys of the Team, faced the test again and managed to finish it:

  • he cycled for 1 hour, covering the distance of 88.69 km (the current record is 92.43 km/h);
  • he continued until he reached the distance of 100 km, taking a time of 1:07:41, just 39 seconds from the world record.

While Andrea was catching his breath after the good test sustained, Vittoria Spada set off with TaurusX in search of the speed record. She calmly faced the first run-up lap, passing from the start at a speed of 74 km/h, but it was at the corner of the second lap that the prototype overturned, covering a few meters on the ground. Vittoria was released unscathed, but her race ended there.
Andrea, on the other hand, left ready to push the bicycle at high speed, and with Phoenix crossed the trap of 200 meters at 103.8 km/h.

The event ended with record attempts that really touched the enterprise and which are an incentive for the Team to continue to work hard and improve more and more. After the forced stop of international competitions due to the pandemic in progress, the European Speed Battle represented an opportunity for the two European teams to see their vehicles in action and to find themselves all together united by a passion for design and research. The spirit with which the race was tackled and the hard work done in recent months will remain in the team's heritage for future steps and will allow it to grow continuously.