‘I did 2364 watts’ - Wattbike world record holder challenges anyone to beat his 200m benchmark

James Moncrieff stole Sir Chris Hoy's record last year, now he'd like someone to take it off him

James Moncrieff riding a Wattbike at Loughborough University
(Image credit: Peter Simmons / Loughborough University)

A Wattbike world record holder has thrown down the gauntlet and challenged anyone to better his 200m sprint benchmark. 

James Moncrieff, a former bodybuilder from Essex, hit over 2,300 watts when he set the record last year, stopping the clock at 8.88 seconds. His time was confirmed by Wattbike to be the fastest ever, and has now stood for almost seven months. 

In that time, Moncrieff has reached out to the England rugby squad, the All Blacks, and elite track sprinters, asking them to try and top his time. 

“How much of a record is it if everyone hasn’t tried it?” the 41-year-old told Cycling Weekly. “I just want people to enjoy it. I’d love Wattbike to create a leaderboard for it.

“I’d love to see Robert Förstermann or Chris Hoy give it a go. I see Förstermann every day on Instagram and the power he can generate is phenomenal.” 

Moncrieff set the record last June under controlled conditions at Loughborough University. 

He trained up to three times a week for four months in preparation, and, during his attempt, covered each of the exercise bike’s feet with weighted sandbags to keep it stable. 

“I went for it,” he said. “I just didn’t slow down, well, I didn’t intentionally slow down. My peak watts was a PB, which was 2364, and my average pace was 81km/h. And that was it. It was done.” 

Moncrieff began using a Wattbike at the end of 2022, after a series of running injuries left him with torn hamstrings in both legs. 

“I spent 15 years powerlifting and bodybuilding, and competed in a few things,” he said. “I was always into speed. I always worked on my jumps. ‘Freight train’ I called it. I wanted to be big and fast, not a big, slow bulldozer.

“Sprinting just didn’t suit my hamstrings clearly, so I started using the Wattbike at the gym.”

Straightaway, Moncrieff recalled, he was hitting up to 1,900 watts. “I really got obsessed by it,” he said. 

He contacted Wattbike to find out what the fastest 200m time was, and the best they had on record was 9.3 seconds, set by Olympic legend Hoy at an event. 

“I messaged Chris Hoy on Instagram and he said, ‘Yeah, it was something like 9.3, but I was wearing trainers with straps instead of cleats.’ He sort of played it down. So I was like, ‘Well I’m going to do it in straps as well then, because that’s what Chris Hoy did.’ And that’s what I did.”

Although his world record is not officially recognised by Guinness, Moncrieff’s time of 8.88 seconds is still the fastest anyone knows about. The flying 200m world record on the track is 9.1 seconds, held by Trinidadian Nicholas Paul since 2019. 

“It was really important to me because I hadn’t ever had a chance to show that, ‘Hey, I’m a big lump, but I’m still fast’,” Moncrieff said. “I’m sure there’s someone, somewhere, that’s doing more.

“Obviously I’m not a skilled track rider, so it wouldn’t translate well on a bike. I’m sure Sir Chris would lap me time and time again.” 

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