Cycling World hour record – combined forces and age 100+

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 DoddsBritishCambridge Univ25 Mar 1876
Henri Desgrange
FrenchParis11 May 1893
Jules Dubois
FrenchParis31 Oct 1894
Marcel Van Danish Eynde
BelgianParis30 July 1897
Willie Hamilton
USADanishver3 July 1898
Lucien Petit-Breton
FrenchParis24 Aug 1905
Marcel Berthet
FrenchParis20 June 1907
Oscar Egg
SwissParis22 Aug 1912
42.306 (2)
Richard Weise
Marcel Berthet
FrenchParis7 Aug 1913
Oscar Egg
SwissParis21 Aug 1913
Marcel Berthet
FrenchParis20 Sep 1913
Oscar Egg
SwissParis18 Aug 1914
Jan Van Hout
NEDRoermond25 Aug 1933
Maurice Richard
FrenchSt. Truiden28 Sep 1933
Giuseppe Olmo
ITAMilan31 Oct 1935
Maurice Richard
FrenchMilan14 Oct 1936
Frenchns Slaats
NEDMilan29 Sep 1937
Maurice Archambaud
FrenchMilan3 Nov 1937
Fausto Coppi
ItalianMilan7 Nov 1942
Jacques Anquetil
FrenchMilan29 June 1956
Ercole Baldini
ItalianMilan19 Sep 1956
Roger Riviere
FrenchMilan18 Sep 1957
Roger Riviere
FrenchMilan23 Sep 1959
47.493 (3)
Jaques Anquetil
FrenchMilan Oct 1967
Ferdinand Bracke
BelgianRome30 Oct 1967
Ole Ritter
DanishMexico City10 Oct 1968
Eddy Merckx
BelgianMexico City25 Oct 1972
Francesco Moser
ItalianMexico City 19 Jan 1984
Francesco Moser
ItalianMexico City23 Jan1984
Graeme Obree
BritishHamar17 July 1993
Chris Boardman
BritishBordeaux23 July 1993
Graeme Obree
BritishBordeaux27 April 1994
Miguel Indurain
SpanishBordeaux2 Sep 1994
Tony Rominger
SwissBordeaux22 Oct 1994
Tony Rominger
SwissBordeaux5 Nov 1994
Chris Boardman
BritishManchester6 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


2 Responses to Cycling World hour record – combined forces and age 100+

  1. Stephen Poulton February 26, 2015 at 1:52 am #

    As an Honorary Member of RAFCA, is it possible to access the RAFCA site
    (Sqn Ldr Ret’d 2001, Served RAFCA as Treasurer and Chairman)

    I am currently registered as 2nd Claim RAFCC. Main activity is Audax, for which I am an event Organiser of both Calendar and Permanent events.


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