Australian Jack Bobridge has broken Chris Boardman’s 15-year-old individual pursuit record during the Australian track national championships.

Boardman’s former world record of four minutes 11.114 seconds over 4,000 metres set in 1996 using the now banned aerodynamic ‘superman’ riding position was bettered by 21-year-old Bobridge’s four minutes and 10.534 seconds.

Prior to Bobridge’s ride, Boardman’s record was thought to have been ‘unbreakable’ by a rider adopting a normal, less aerodynamic riding position. The former world record holder was quick to praise Bobridge’s achievement. “Wow, Jack Bobridge broke my 15yr old world record, 4-10.5 that is an amazing time, congratulations to him,” Boardman said via microblogging site Twitter.

That it was Bobridge that broke Boardman’s record should come as no surprise. Prior to today’s blistering ride at the Dunc Gray veldrome in Sydney, Bobridge already held the record for the fastest individual pursuit time using the normal position, and the third fastest of all time behind Boardman’s two ‘superman’ times. He won the IP at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi last year, and won the Australian road race championships in January.

In addition to Bobridge’s new world record, Rohan Dennis set another fast time in qualification of 4-13.399 – now the fourth fastest IP time in history.

In October 2009, Britain’s Geraint Thomas came close to the Bobridge and Boardman’s times with a 4-15.015 during the Manchester round of the 2010/11 Track World Cup. Before Thomas and Bobridge set faster times, Bradley Wiggins held the top time for a rider in the non-superman position. He clocked 4-15.031 during qualification for the Olympic Games IP in Beijing, 2008.

Some of the prestige of the individual pusuit has been lost since the announcement that it has been dropped from the Olympic Games track disciplines from 2012. In line with Olympic events, the IP has also been dropped from the official schedule for UCI track world cup events.

However, Bobridge is a key part of Australia’s team pursuit squad, an event which is firmly still part of the Olympic schedule. Both Wiggins and Thomas make a return to the British team pursuit squad in just over two weeks at the Manchester round of the track world cup. The last time that they rode together was at the Beijing Olympics, during which they helped to set a new team pursuit world record.

Could the team pursuit world record now tumble in Manchester this month?

4-10.534 World record
Jack Bobridge (Australia)
Sydney, Australian National Track Championships 2011


Chris Boardman (Great Britain)

Manchester, World Championships final 1996


Chris Boardman (Great Britain)

Manchester, World Championships 1996

Rohan Dennis (Australia)
Sydney, Australian National Track Championships 2011

Jack Bobridge (Australia)
Adelaide, Australian National Track Championships qualifying 2010

Jack Bobridge (Australia) Commonwealth Games record
Delhi, Commonwealth Games qualifying, Oct 5, 2010


Geraint Thomas (Great Britain)

Manchester, World Cup, October 2009


Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain)

Beijing, Olympic Games qualifying, August 2008


Taylor Phinney (USA)

Pruszkow, Poland, World Championships, March 2009


Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain)

Athens, Olympic Games qualifying, August 2004


Taylor Phinney (USA)

Copenhagen, World Cup, February 2009

* Set using the superman position, now banned

Related links
Strongest ever British track squad named for Manchester World Cup
Individual pursuit removed from Olympic Games

  • Mike

    Agree with the comments above RE the removal of the IP from the Olympic program. It does seem a waste that the awesome London velodrome is now the host for such a small number of events. However, as I understand it, the fault lies not with the UCI but with the OIC for it is the IOC that decides how many medals each confederation is able to award. The IOC has limited the number in such a way that the UCI, by expanding the program to include MTBs and BMX, has had to drop others. Unfortunately cycling is seen as a 1st world sport. Until such time as an increasing number of countries produce competitive cyclists, the IOC will not expand the number of medals able to be awarded.

    Looking forward to the team pursuit in Manchester World Cup and the Worlds. With Cameron Meyer performing well in the Berlin 6 day on the back of his TDU victory, the Aussie pursuiters look to be on fire now. Bring on the AUS v GB final. Could a 3:50 be on the cards?

  • norman saxby

    Getting rid of the individual pursuit is like removing the 1500 metres from the athletics. Think of the protests and anger that would cause throughout the athletics world.What a fight that would be. Where was the CYCLING FIGHTBACK ? We should be getting rid of the UCI !!! Before we know we might find the time trial on the road taken out too!

  • Tim

    This is a cracking ride and all congratulations indeed.

    It’s a most significant win not only for the time but for the bike he was riding.

    What this shows, and above all proves, is that it’s always, always, always, (and I’ll say it again) always down the the rider. This is particularly significant in that the equipment used for the previous record was from a different era and of a time when it was thought to be better due to technical advantages in design, etc. Well, it goes to proves that it’s not the bike, it’s the rider.

    This guy’s a class act and it clearly shows how misguided the latest moves are to restrict and dampen bicycle design. It will not make one bit of a difference. Lift that lid!

    Talent, and talent only, will always shine.


  • Martincov

    What a great ride. Well done Jack. Totally agree with Mike’s comments about the event. As the Olympic velodrome is only used for cycling then why should the track programme be shortened. One reason, I suppose, that the IOC has dropped so many events, is that it believes everything should be open to all countries (i.e not all countries have the resources to be able to afford the latest machinery, bike tech. etc.). In which case there are plenty of other sports which use hi-tech equipment not available to all countries (shooting, archery, even wheelchairs!) Why does cycling have to take a backward step?

  • Simon E

    Amazing ride. I wonder if Brad and G have anything to say.

    It’s a crying shame that the IP has been dropped from the Olympics and world cup, I prefer it to the sprint events, great though they are.

  • Mike

    Nail on the head John.
    Why the need to drop any track cycling event?
    The velodrome is only used for cycling so it is not taking up time for other sports.
    Swimming events go on for the whole Olympics, but thats not a problem as the pool is not used for other sports
    The velodrome is also a single sport venue, so why did our lords and masters at the UCI allow events to be trimmed from the track programme?

  • Ade

    Amazing ride by Jack there, respect to that lad. Jack 21 yrs Chris B 28yrs in 1996 so Jack still has 7 yrs to do more?

  • bri

    brilliant ip time by jack bobridge. i think that some of our gb riders could get close to times like that, if we rode it. riders like wiggins, thomas,clancy,burke, and tennent. we didnt have anybody in it at last years worlds. is it because we are more fore the tp instead?

  • John Hunt

    They dropped the IP from the Olympics?! Can’t they just get rid of one of the swimming events and keep an actually interesting competetive event?