Victor Campenaerts breaks Bradley Wiggins’ Hour Record

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Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Soudal) has topped a mark set by Bradley Wiggins to become the new UCI Hour Record holder.

Campenaerts set the new record of 55.089 kilometers at the Velodromo Bicentenario in Aguascalientes, Mexico. That was good enough to best the 54.526 kilometers that Wiggins rode in 2015 by 563 meters.

Victor Campenaerts celebrates his triumph with the Belgian flag. Photo: JdM/PN/Cor Vos © 2019

“I worked really hard and really long for this,” Campenaerts said. “The team supported me, gave me a hundred percent confidence, and I think it’s important to give a good response to that confidence. I think I did.”

Campenaerts spent time training at altitude in Namibia and then won a time trial in March at Tirreno-Adriatico before heading to Aguascalientes – and its favorable elevation – for his attempt.

He spent the first third of his ride Tuesday pushing a pace significantly faster than Wiggins’s. His speed dropped slightly from there, then it went up again slightly with 20 minutes to go. By the final few minutes, it was clear that the 27-year-old Belgian would top the record. He hit Wiggins’s mark with around 30 seconds still to go, and continued on to cover over half a kilometer more before his one hour was up.

“I was a bit optimistic in the first 30 minutes. You have to be optimistic but after half an hour it was really important to set a new pace a little bit slower,” he said. “I slowed down little bit but I think I still was at almost every part of the race a little bit faster than Wiggins.”

Campenaerts is the sixth rider to hold the Hour Record since the UCI changed the rules to allow for contemporary endurance track bikes in the pursuit of a “Unified” record after years of distinguishing between efforts on bikes with technology from the Eddy Merckx era and modern equipment.

Jens Voigt took the first record under the new regulations before Matthias Brändle set a new mark. Rohan Dennis took over from there before he was bested by Alex Dowsett, who ceded the record to British compatriot Bradley Wiggins in 2015. Wiggins’s record stood for nearly four years until Campenaerts set the new record over 55 kilometers on Tuesday in Mexico.

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