The hour record remains one of those mythical measures in cycling. It is the ultimate test of power, endurance and riding discipline.
Trek-Segafredo rider, Ellen van Dijk, set a new women’s hour record at the Velodrome Suisse, in Grenchen, Switzerland, this week.
The Dutch rider bested Josh Lowden’s record by nearly 1km. In hour racing, it’s the distance covered that counts.
Last year, Van Dijk won the individual time trial World Champion. She knows all about optimizing aerodynamics and rode the entire hour with a dedicated ‘head-down’ position, to lower her aerodynamic profile.
At the end of an hour, Van Dijk covered 49.254km of the Velodrome Suisse. That distance beat Lowden’s record, set last year at the same track, by 849m.
Beneath each great rider is a fantastic bike, and Van Dijk’s hour record machine was a Trek Speed Concept. As with all track bikes, it features singlespeed gearing, with Van Dijk pushing a massive 50t chainring connected to a 14t rear cog.
Rolling Van Dijk along were Zipp Sub 9 Track disc wheels, fitted with 23mm Pirelli tubular tyres.
"I'm very happy I broke the record," Van Dijk said. "In the beginning I was a bit nervous but I was under control, I did what we wanted to do. If I would feel great I would accelerate in the second part but instead I slowed down a little bit."