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ChrisInisdeIT LOOKS like something’s just landed from Outer Space – but this aerodynamic shell could make Chris Jones and Sarah Piercy the fastest hand cyclists on earth!

Ex-serviceman Chris has teamed up with engineers at Plymouth University for the World Human Powered Speed Challenge (WHPSC), taking place in Battle Mountain, Nevada, in September.

Chris, who was injured while serving as an Army Air Corps trooper in 1998, graduated from Plymouth University in 2004 and went on to work as a physics teacher.

But for the past year he has been taking on more active challenges as an ambassador for Help for Heroes.

He said: “Over the past couple of years, I have thrown myself into some amazing challenges and this will be the latest of them.

“It will be a real physical test for me, but I am going to get myself as fit as I can and give it my best shot.”

The current men’s record stands at 45.68 mph

Sarah, a former London Women’s Wheelchair Marathon champion, is also aiming to break the women’s handcycle record of 24.76mph.

Handcycle Project Athletes Chris Jones and Sarah Piercy

Despite having the condition arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, which can lead to a contracting of the joints, Sarah has competed in TEN London Marathons, including her win at the age of just 19 in 2000.

She said: “Throughout my life, I have always been up for a challenge, so when this opportunity came along I knew I wanted to be involved.

“I am used to racing over longer distances, and riding in a different position, so I am going to have to completely change my training programme for this competition.

“But so much hard work has gone into building the bike that I am determined to give it everything I’ve got now and when we get to Nevada.”

This is the second year that Plymouth University has taken part in the competition, which includes a run-up of up to five miles on a straight, flat, high altitude road.

Project leader Adam Kyte, lecturer in mechanical and marine engineering design, is confident of success.

He said: “We have designed and built a fantastic handcycle – and we know it is fast.

“With two outstanding and committed athletes now signed up, we are confident we have a winning package that can go even quicker in 2016.

“There are technical developments to make, but it promises to be an exciting few months ahead.”

Handcycle team