Joss Lowden hopes Hour Record try will encourage more female attempts but 'give me a moment with it first, if I get it'

Joss Lowden says there's so much hype around the men's Hour Record that needs to be matched by the women

Joss Lowden
(Image credit: Getty)

Joss Lowden hopes her forthcoming Hour Record attempt will inspire more women to take on the feat, but not before she's had some time with it, before adding the quick caveat "if I get it".

The 33-year-old Brit will attempt to beat the 48.007km set by Italy's Vittoria Bussi in September 2018 on September 30th at the Velodome Suisse in Switzerland, and will be broadcast live on Eurosport and YouTube.

"I'm a bit daunted, you kind of start to think 'ah that's quite a big statement', like when you go for an Hour Record you're sort of saying 'I'm better than any other female that's come before me that's tried that' and sometimes I think is that really a statement I want to make? My style is more to kind of slip under the radar and just go and do things quietly and then afterwards go 'that was really good'. 

But you kind of realise that people want to see it because it's exciting and it's a good thing for women's cycling...there's so much hype around the men doing it. There's not really enough about the women so I'm hoping that it will make other women do it. I mean if you sent Ellen [Van Dijk - the new women's time trial world champion] out to do that record it would be amazing, I mean give me a moment with it first...if I get it."

>>> Dan Bigham is definitely NOT the bad boy of British Cycling

Lowden finished eighth in the elite women's time trial at the Flanders World Championships, a result she was pleased with, as she rides herself into peak form ahead of the Hour Record with the mixed team relay and women's road race still on her Flanders menu for the rest of this week, a week she hopes to enjoy, which she says can be as important as having the right preparation.

"There were moments when I thought 'if you're finding these few minute intervals hard work just think about the hour!'" Lowden said.

"[We're] enjoying ourselves out here and racing. I mean, coming to Worlds and having a nice time and I think being happy and in a good place is worth a lot of watts."

"I think I'm not quite where I was hoping to be [form-wise] but I don't think I'm a million miles away so hopefully it's enough."

Her partner, Dan Bigham, who rode the men's time trial and will also lead the mixed team relay on Wednesday, will try to beat Bradley Wiggins' British Hour Record the day after Lowden's attempt.

“I wouldn’t go for it if I didn’t think it was possible,” he said.

"The test run was good because there was zero pressure, I could just turn up and ride, and did a big negative split. It’s a different ball game when you pick a date and time and have to go for it. I’m confident but it won’t be easy."

Bigham will first try and beat Wiggins' 54.5km, as to be eligible for the full UCI Hour Record, held by Victor Campenaerts (55.089km), you need to be in the UCI's registered testing pool, "which is £8,000 pounds a year," Bigham explains. "Then there are all the other organisational costs, so you’re talking in the region of £25,000.

"Joss has gone through that and had full support from Drops Le Col, which is nothing short of epic. For me, my team don't have £25k floating around, that’s a good chunk of their annual budget. I’m basically having to fund it off my own back. That’s not a bad thing, there’s less pressure and stress when it’s coming out of my pocket than someone else’s. But hopefully it’s a stepping stone. If I can get close or break it maybe people will invest in it and I can stand here in 12 months’ time saying I’m about to have a go at Campenaerts’ record."

Jonny Long

Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.


Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).


I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.