Thu, Apr 18, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Wiggins’ hour record beaten by Campenaerts


Lotto-Soudal rider Victor Campenaerts breaks the 1-hour world record for distance on a track at the Velodromo Bicentenario in Aguascalientes, Mexico, on Tuesday.

Photo: AFP

Belgian cyclist Victor Campenaerts on Tuesday set a new 1-hour world record for distance covered on a track with 55.089km, edging past the previous record set by British great Bradley Wiggins.

The European time-trial champion established the record at the Velodromo Bicentenario in Aguascalientes, Mexico, at an altitude of 1,800m, beating the previous record of 54.526km set in June 2015.

“I broke the magic 55km,” the exhausted 27-year-old said after bettering Wiggins’ mark by 563m, albeit under arguably easier conditions. “I was too optimistic at first and after half an hour, I needed to set a new slower pace. I worked long and hard for this, and the team were right behind me and now I paid them back.”

Wiggins in 2015 set the mark of 54.526km and there have been several attempts to break it since.

Wiggins congratulated Campenaerts on his achievement.

“Chapeau Victor my man,” the 38-year-old wrote on Twitter.

Campenaerts raced under slightly different conditions to those faced by the track-trained Wiggins, and not only a difference in altitude.

International Cycling Union rules say that any attempt must use a regulation track bike and the athlete must be part of the biological passport doping control program.

However, pundits say that the altitude alone could have given the Belgian up to a 1,500m advantage on Wiggins. That said, no hour record has previously been set at the Aguascalientes velodrome, which is at 1,800m altitude, where the thin air is less resistant aerodynamically.

Campenaerts has been sleeping in simulated conditions of 3,000m altitude, which increases the red blood cell count so that the body can deliver the oxygen that fuels physical feats, in his two weeks in Mexico.

His bike was constructed to his requirements: without gears or brakes for less weight and with straight handlebars for improved aerodynamics.

His bike frame also ensured that he could take an identical riding position to his usual road style.

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