“If I was afraid standing up there I wouldn’t go. Fear is like a natural correction for your body. If you’re not prepared for something that you’re about to do you have failed, and in some sports failing might just mean getting hurt but in this sport… if you fail you die.”
Markus Stoeckl has been in the saddle since he was a teenager. The Austrian, now 43, bought his first mountain bike when he was 15 years old. But neither he, nor the cycling world, could have predicted at the time where mountain biking would eventually take him.
The Austrian holds two separate, equally astonishing, world speed records. Markus is the fastest man to ever travel downhill on snow on a production mountain bike, and the fastest man to do the same on gravel as well. He has ridden a regular mountain bike faster than anyone else on the planet. And the latter record he achieved by riding down a volcano.
“I was riding my bike more and more and liked going downhill and then about 20 years ago I met Eric Barone and all these guys who were doing speed races, and that’s how I got into it, and into regular downhill as well,” he says.