Behind the scenes of the epic split with Jean-Claude Van Damme

Mikael Rosell is one of the drivers involved in the stunt with Jean-Claude Van Damme performing a split between 2 trucks mirrors. We met him at Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Alicante where he drove the Special Edition Volvo FH truck.

Behind the scenes of the epic split with Jean-Claude Van Damme

Mikael, what was your role in the hugely successful film starring Jean-Claude Van Damme?
I was the guy driving one of the trucks who edged away from the second truck so that Van Damme could perform his famous split with his feet on each of our side mirrors. I kept my eye on the outer dotted line of the road while reversing because that was the maximum possible distance between the trucks that would keep Van Damme safe.

We rehearsed for eight days without Van Damme on the mirrors. We only needed one single take with him early that morning as the sun was rising. It was perfect! I still get goosebumps when I think about it.

Have you been a truck driver all your life?
I’ve been driving trucks since 1985 and I’ve driven almost every truck there is. But I like Volvo Trucks, and the best thing about them is the Volvo Dynamic Steering. You come into a roundabout or at a corner and the truck is amazing to handle.

You drove the Volvo Ocean Race Edition FH truck 2500 km from Kiel (Germany) to Alicante (Spain) for the start of the Volvo Ocean Race. What did you bring with you?
I transported the engine and fuel tank of the new Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) truck. These new Volvo trucks will be running on LNG but will have the same performance, driveability and fuel consumption as standard trucks running on diesel.

The best part is that their CO2 emissions will be 20% to 100% lower compared with diesel, depending on the choice of fuel. This is all part of Volvo’s vision of zero emissions.

Behind the scenes of the epic split with Jean-Claude Van Damme

Where did the road take you after Alicante?
Next, I drove the Volvo Ocean Race Edition FH truck a further 1020 km to Lisbon, the next Stopover city. This was a special journey for me because I passed the place where we performed the famous “Split” stunt with Jean Claude Van Damme. It reminded me of how Volvo is constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible.

How are Volvo trucks used during the Volvo Ocean Race?
Many Volvo trucks form part of the logistics chain to transport the containers from the harbour to each one of the Race Villages set up at the 12 Host Cities visited by the race around the world.

A Volvo truck also transported the 8th Volvo Ocean 65 boat from Italy to the Boatyard in Lisbon. That meant carrying 12,500 kg (the weight of the boat). So we know these trucks are reliable and powerful, but most importantly, they are also safe on the road.