Essex cyclist tops 174mph in speed challenge

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Media captionNeil Campbell tops 174mph in speed challenge

A cyclist has reached more than 174mph (280km/h) after being released from the back of Porsche on an airfield runway.

Neil Campbell, 45, broke a previous record of 167mph, using a specially-built, £15,000 bike.

The architect from Essex was pulled along at Elvington Airfield in North Yorkshire by the Porsche Cayenne, then released to go through the timing gate under his own power.

The previous record for a man was set by a Dutch rider in 1995.

Mr Campbell, of Little Horkesley, said he was "thrilled and relieved" to achieve the fastest bicycle speed for a male in a slipstream.

He said "the team worked amazingly well".

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Image caption An attachment was added to the back of the Porsche to help drag Neil Campbell along the track

Mr Campbell was measured at 174.33mph.

The elongated, custom-built bike was based on the design of a tandem and built using parts from a motocross bike.

There was a large attachment on the back of the Porsche, to help Mr Campbell build up speed along the two-mile (3.2km) track.

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Image caption Neil Campbell, 45, was clocked at 174.33mph on the specially-built bike

"Porsche spend millions testing their cars in a wind tunnel and we stick a big Tupperware box on the back of it," he said.

Mr Campbell wore a kangaroo-skin protective suit during the challenge.

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The evidence from Saturday's record bid will be submitted to Guinness World Records.

Mr Campbell's next challenge is to try to break the overall record, held by Denise Mueller-Korenek.

The American reached 183.932mph (296.010km/h) on her custom-made bike in September 2018.

Mr Campbell said he would try to reach 220mph (354km/h) next year on a six-mile track at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA, where Ms Mueller-Korenek achieved her record-breaking feat.

He said: "This has been a five-year programme and the record was the culmination of one part of it.

"We have been bound by finances and budgeted to do what we can. Our plan is now to go to Bonneville and use a longer test track."

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