Higher, faster, farther – the urge to constantly set new records is encoded in humanity’s genetics. This drive was especially strong in José Meiffret. The Frenchman was unequivocally obsessed with the idea of being the world’s fastest man on a bicycle. The fact he achieved his goal can be attributed to his fanatical belief that “a human can grow beyond himself through his will” – and with a Mercedes-Benz.
It happened on July 10, 1962, on the A5 autobahn between Lahr and Freiburg. Meiffret crossed the border to come here for his speed runs after his home country banned his risky record attempts. The 49-year-old aimed to cross another boundary – to raise the maximum speed achieved by a human on a bicycle, behind an automobile, to over 200 km/h.