Van Houweling breaks 12-year old women's Hour Record in Mexico, beating the previous mark by 209 metres

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Molly Shaffer Van Houweling set a new women’s UCI Hour Record on Saturday evening in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

The 41-year-old American set a new distance of 46.274 kilometres in the Velodromo Bicentenario, beating the 12-year-old mark of 46.065km set by Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel in 2003 by 209 metres.

“You never know if everything is going to come together on race day,” Van Houweling said after the successful attempt.

“Every day this week I was thinking, ‘Am I going to be 100 percent? Does my knee hurt? Am I getting the sniffles? Is it too hot? Or too cold?’ I feel fortunate that everything came together today and that I felt in control. I am relieved that everything came together and thankful for everyone that helped me make this happen.”

Van Houweling decided to make the attempt on the iconic world record after setting the all-time US Hour Record in February 2014 in the same venue.

Although the Californian’s name may not be a familiar one, she has been the UCI’s Amateur World Champion on five occasions.

British rider Dame Sarah Storey was the first to attempt the women’s Hour Record after the UCI changed its rules governing the record in May 2014. Although Storey set new British, Paralympic and Masters record at the Lee Valley Velodrome in London in February, she fell short of Zijlaard-van Moorsel’s distance.