2014 seems to be a big year for the Cycling World Hour Record. The top 3 professional timetriallists – Fabian Cancellara, Tony Martin and Bradley Wiggins have all expressed an interest in the iconic record that has languished since the great battles between Boardman, Indurain, Rominger and Obree in the 1990s. The world hour record is currently held by the relatively unknown Ondřej Sosenka, he did 49.700 km 2005. (He later failed two dope tests, putting into doubt the validity of his record). It will be good to see a top time triallist finally go for the record (which despite UCI meddling, remains by far the most iconic cycling record.)
Away from the professional world, there have been two recent successful attempts at different categories and variations of the hour record.
Firstly, up is local time triallist, RAF engineer Justyn Cannon. Cannon successfully rode 47.220km on a track in Newport, 3rd Feb 2013. A very good distance for early February and for a rider who has done very little work on the track. It’s particularly interesting for me, because I often race against Justyn Cannon and we are often pretty close in local time trials.
But, there is something special about the Hour record. It is (by all accounts) a particularly testing event. Eddy Merckx couldn’t walk after his effort in 1974, and said it was hardest ride of his career. Cannon said
“That was horrible, absolutely horrible. It just messes with your mind.”
“Lap number one is horrible, as you’re stressed about getting on schedule. Then each lap after that is horrible.”
It must be a great feeling to actually put the kms on the board and beat the old Combined forces record of 46.5. It seems Justyn was training very hard over Christmas. “I train three times a day, including doing two hours on Christmas Day.” !
Good article at BBC here
All or nothing
One thing about the World Hour record is that it must feel an all or nothing achievement. You either break the record or you don’t. You can prepare for months, but it all comes down to whether you can break it. Even attempting the record takes courage.
World hour record for 100+ age category
Recently Robert Marchand, a 102-year old rider from France, beat his own hour record on the newly opened cycling track in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines on Friday. Marchand set a new hour record for the UCI 100-plus category which was created especially for Marchand. The record now stands at 26 kilometers and 927 metres.
Not bad for a 102 year old!
Cycling World Hour record
|26.508 (1)||Frank Dodds||British||Cambridge Univ||25 Mar 1876|
|French||Paris||11 May 1893|
|French||Paris||31 Oct 1894|
Marcel Van Danish Eynde
|Belgian||Paris||30 July 1897|
|USA||Danishver||3 July 1898|
|French||Paris||24 Aug 1905|
|French||Paris||20 June 1907|
|Swiss||Paris||22 Aug 1912|
|French||Paris||7 Aug 1913|
|Swiss||Paris||21 Aug 1913|
|French||Paris||20 Sep 1913|
|Swiss||Paris||18 Aug 1914|
Jan Van Hout
|NED||Roermond||25 Aug 1933|
|French||St. Truiden||28 Sep 1933|
|ITA||Milan||31 Oct 1935|
|French||Milan||14 Oct 1936|
|NED||Milan||29 Sep 1937|
|French||Milan||3 Nov 1937|
|Italian||Milan||7 Nov 1942|
|French||Milan||29 June 1956|
|Italian||Milan||19 Sep 1956|
|French||Milan||18 Sep 1957|
|French||Milan||23 Sep 1959|
|Belgian||Rome||30 Oct 1967|
|Danish||Mexico City||10 Oct 1968|
|Belgian||Mexico City||25 Oct 1972|
|Italian||Mexico City||19 Jan 1984|
|Italian||Mexico City||23 Jan1984|
|British||Hamar||17 July 1993|
|British||Bordeaux||23 July 1993|
|British||Bordeaux||27 April 1994|
|Spanish||Bordeaux||2 Sep 1994|
|Swiss||Bordeaux||22 Oct 1994|
|Swiss||Bordeaux||5 Nov 1994|
|British||Manchester||6 Sep 1996|
(1) This is considered an ‘unofficial’ record and does not show up in all accounts. Frank Dodds set this record on a penny farthing.
(2) Unofficial record, track not measured properly
(3) Not counted as official record, Anquetil did not show up for drugs test.
UCI Athlete’s world hour record since 2000
- Eddy Merckx 49.431 (1972)
- Chris Boardman, Manchester, (2000), 49.441 km
- Ondrej Sosenka, Moscow, (2005) 49.700 km