48.405km: Joss Lowden has broken the Hour Record

Lowden broke Vittoria Bussi's previous record in Grenchen, Switzerland

by Ronan Mc Laughlin

photography by James Huntly

Joss Lowden has broken the Women’s UCI Hour Record. Lowden broke Vittoria Bussi’s previous record of 48.007KM by 400m to set a new world record of 48.405km. Bussi had set the previous benchmark in September 2018 but Lowden had unofficially broken the hour record in training back in February. At the time Lowden was not on the biological passport program so that record wouldn’t stand. Fast forward seven months, and Lowden has now broken the record.

Lowden competes on the road for Team Drops LeCol and just last week competed for Great Britain in the UCI World Time Trial Championships. Lowden travelled directly from the Mixed Team Relay in Belgium to Gretchen, Switzerland, for the record-breaking ride.

Despite a tiny blip when she hit a trackside cushion, Lowden looked solid throughout. Turning over a huge 64×15 gear, Lowden went through the first 20km in 24:56.691, eight seconds up on the previous record. Joss had completed just over 24km at the midway point for an average speed of 48.184km/h, already well up on the last record.

As with all Hour records, though, maintaining a record-breaking pace throughout is most difficult, and we have seen many riders overcook it in the early stages. Lowden, however, seemingly got better and better throughout the race, starting with 18.7sec laps before dipping down to 18sec laps. By the time clock hit the 40-minute mark, Lowden had completed 32.25km for an average speed of 48.315km/h. After a short dip, Lowden lifted the pace once again in the final ten minutes to set the new world record.

As you might expect, Lowden had every aspect of the bike, her position, and kit dialled in for her most aerodynamic setup. We will have a deep dive gallery on her Argon 18 Electron bike and LeCol kit.

Lowden had fiance Dan Bigham step in as trackside coach for the Hour Record. Bigham will himself attempt the British Hour Record currently held by Bradley Wiggins tomorrow.

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