American Denise Mueller-Korenek smashes cycling land speed record

Denise already held the women’s speed record, but has now smashed the men’s record too

Denise already held the women's cycling land speed record (photo by Matt Ben Stone/Action Plus via Getty Images)
(Image credit: Action Plus via Getty Images)

The all-time cycling land speed record has been smashed by American Denise Mueller-Korenek, who already held the women’s record.

Denise set the first ever women’s record back in 2016, but was determined to go further.

On Sunday, the former racer travelled at 200mph on a custom KHS bike, travelling behind a 1000-horsepower dragster.

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Denise hit 183.4mph, obliterating the previous men’s record of 167mph and her own women’s record of 147mph.

Businesswoman, CEO and motorsport enthusiast Denise, who is in her 40s, set the record at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

After being towed behind the dragster up to 50mph, Denise and her bike were released and able to pedal the massive gear.

Denise Mueller-Korenek attempting to break the cycling land speed record (photo by Matt Ben Stone/Action Plus via Getty Images)
(Image credit: Action Plus via Getty Images)

Using double reduction gearing, the custom drivechain was designed to allow Denise to pedal her way to the world record speed in the slipstream of the converted dragster.

She now joins a rich catalogue of bicycle land speed record holders, including most recently Fred Rompleberg from the Netherlands in 1995.

As a teenager, Denise was a successful bike racer, picking up 13 national championships and two world championship podiums before retiring.

After quitting racing, Denise went into the family security business and raised a family.

Denise's custom designed bike for the attempt (Photo by Matt Ben Stone/Action Plus via Getty Images)
(Image credit: Action Plus via Getty Images)

Her team were live broadcasting the runs as they took place over the weekend, including terrifying footage from the back of the dragster.

The video shows Denise beginning to pedal while being towed, before she is released and pedals under her own power.[0]=68.ARCfXeQEcm87pMgIy9YumXgHqkEgXKl4dMvUl09onJR0Holj3SVje3GlPcD-JECBPEeHNnmkqrPcU04lgta9Fa_813PPFZsSW3_Vvok1HRdHlAEL7byQhJYKO2ij0EucH7CjWyM7Jtam2CN2rXOwqfU3yfj3hS4XbC5jL3CPDGVP8w5f3UfFIno&__tn__=kCH-R

Denise has to stay within the slipstream while travelling at almost 200mph across the salt flats.

A bar across the back of the dragster allows her to get as close as possible to the vehicle without catching her front wheel.

After hitting the target speed, Denise then sits up allows the wind resistance to slow her back down.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.