‘A lot of self doubt, but it actually wasn’t that bad’: Joss Lowden reflects on her blistering Hour Record ride

Lowden said she wants to help close the gap to the men’s side of the sport

Joss Lowden celebrating her new Hour Record title
(Image credit: James Huntly)

Joss Lowden said she may look back on her Hour Record attempt and wished she’d pushed harder, but was was still “relieved" to have taken the title.

The 33-year-old Brit put down a phenomenal ride at the Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen, Switzerland, beating the previous record by more than 300m. 

Lowden set a new world record of 48.405km covered in 60 minutes, smashing the previous effort put down by Vittoria Bussi of Italy in 2018 by almost two full laps. 

The new record is made even more impressive as Lowden set her distance at just 400m above sea level, compared to Bussi’s ride in Aguascalientes, Mexico, more than 1,800m up.

Speaking after her record-breaking ride, Drops-Le Col rider Lowden said: “I’m relieved but also I think I was a bit dramatic. It was really worrying and nerves were to the extreme, a lot of self doubt but actually it wasn’t that bad. 

“It’s so easy to say it in hindsight, but I started and I knew I could ride the record split comfortably in theory, so I just had to trust that, I knew that if I sat below that I would be okay.”

On whether she would have done anything differently, Lowden added: “Go faster, ride harder. It was conservative. I played it safe, I was in control the whole time. The last few minutes were uncomfortable but it was definitely a controlled effort.  Maybe I’ll look back and think I should have tried harder,  but I think given the preparation, the run into it, the World Championships, the fact I’ve got the Women’s Tour next week, I rode it the way I wanted to ride it, so I can’t be unhappy with that.”

There was also a cause behind Lowden’s ride to add to her motivation, as she hoped to close the gap between the men’s and women’s sides of elite cycling. 

She said: “I just want to demonstrate the women’s side of the sport is the same as the men’s.  We’re up there, competing at the same level, doing the same sort of things and putting on the same entertaining races. Doing something like this, we’re trying to close that gap to the number of men that are trying the men’s world record, doing anything to close that gap.”

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But would Lowden consider another attempt, maybe at high altitude, to see how far she could really go in 60 minutes? 

“If I got a free trip to Mexico I’d probably go for it because that would be good fun,” she said. 

“But otherwise I’ll probably leave it there for now.”   

Lowden will now be joining her partner Dan Bigham in his own Hour Record attempt at the same velodrome on Friday, as he takes on the British record currently held by Sir Bradley Wiggins. 

Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex is the digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.

Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. 

Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.