photo credits @ UCI
Joss Lowden has broken the women’s UCI Hour Record, after covering a distance of 48.405km at the Grenchen velodrome in Switzerland, adding almost 400 meters to the previous mark of 48.007km set by the Italian Vittoria Bussi at the velodrome in Aguascalientes, Mexico in 2018.
The 33-year old was ahead of the benchmark throughout most of her attempt, having gained confidence by breaking the record during training earlier this year.
“I’m relieved,” Lowden said. “I think I’d made it a bit dramatic really, really worrying and getting nervous with a lot of self-doubt, and actually it wasn’t that bad. I knew the record split of [18.7sec per lap] I could do comfortably, it was just trusting in that.”
Lowden’s distance not only broke Bussi’s official record but also the “absolute record” of 48.159km set by Jeannie Longo in 1996, which was achieved using an aerodynamic position that was later banned by cycling’s governing body the UCI.
Lowden, who rides on the Drops–Le Col team, is not a track specialist but had been preparing for her shot at history with her partner, the aerodynamicist Dan Bigham – a multiple British national champion on the track.
She chose an unconventional approach, riding three events on the road at last week’s world championships rather than focusing purely on the track in her buildup. “It was conservative,” she said of her ride. “I played it safe. It was definitely a controlled effort.”
“Maybe I’ll look back and say I should have tried harder, but looking back at the preparations, riding the world championships and the fact there’s the Women’s Tour next week, I rode it the way I wanted to ride it and I can’t be unhappy with how it went.”
Lowden had unofficially broken the previous record of 48.007km held by Bussi, setting a distance of 48.160km during a training simulation held at the Manchester Velodrome in February.
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