Mountain biker Max Stockl conquers world’s toughest ski run

(CNN) — It is a feat which must be seen to be believed.

The world’s greatest skiers have a difficult time tackling the legendary Streif course in Kitzbuhel, regarded as the toughest downhill race in Alpine skiing. There are almost always wobbles, often crashes and, inevitably, injuries.

No-one had attempted to take the 3.3km plunge on two wheels before — until Austrian Max Stockl decided to negotiate the merciless Alpine slopes on his mountain bike, becoming the first downhill biker to complete the Streif in winter.

Stockl, who reached a top speed of 103.64 km/h on the Streif, said: “When you are able to ride with your bike on a slope like that, it is a special honor for me, and I wanted to offer the necessary respect by not ruining the work put in by the ski club by knocking out huge sections of fencing.

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“The famous key sections were tough for me too, and I had to really battle to clear the gates.”

The 43-year-old is accustomed to breaking records. He smashed the world speed record in 2007 by going 210 km/h over snow in the Chilean Andes and is also the fastest on the planet on dirt slopes. At the end of 2016, he reached a speed of 167.6 km/h in the Atacama Desert on his mass-produced mountain bike.

How did the Austrian achieve his feat on the Streif? He used 15mm long spikes and a carbon mudguard, but other than that Stockl — the head of a mountain bike racing team — used his usual downhill biking gear.

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“The only thing that is different is the screws on the bike, and I got a mudguard made. I don’t ride downhill mountain bikes with special parts. It has to be a bike — not a motorbike without an engine,” he said.