Former national rowing champion sets Raleigh Chopper Hour Record

Matt Richardson posts new mark of 31.87km while raising funds to help beat blood cancer

Photo from YouTube (bashFromHenley)

Move over Alex Dowsett and Bradley Wiggins, the Hour Record has its new hero.

Father-of-two Matt Richardson, from Henley-on-Thames and a former national rowing champion, may have ridden more than 20 kilometres fewer than Dowsett managed at the Manchester Velodrome on May 2 - but then the Movistar man wasn't on an unmodified Mark 1 Raleigh Chopper.

What's more, 49-year-old lawyer Richardson's wardrobe, cycling equipment, diet and training methods were all in true 1970s style as well.

>>>Hour Record attempt on a Raleigh Chopper (video)

Richardson's ride took place on May 23 at the Palmer Park Stadium velodrome in Reading, which was not even allowed to host racing a matter of weeks ago, and was witnessed by a large crowd of similarly-attired supporters.

And duly inspired, the man who scaled Mont Ventoux on his Chopper last year in aid of Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research pedalled for 31.87km (19.8 miles) in his 60 minutes to set a new world record.

"I was in so much pain, I could barely see, and every muscle in my body was screaming at me to stop," he said.

Richardson, whose father died of cancer in 1999 at the age of 55, hopes to raise £5,000 for the charity with this ride.

"When I felt I couldn't keep going, I thought about the suffering my father endured with cancer, but also how loudly he would have roared me on," he said.

"I'm humbled by the overwhelming support I've had from family, friends and people all over the world who have been touched in some way to help me raise funds to beat blood cancer."

To donate, visit this website.

Richard Windsor
Richard Windsor

Richard is digital editor of Cycling Weekly. Joining the team in 2013, Richard became editor of the website in 2014 and coordinates site content and strategy, leading the news team in coverage of the world's biggest races and working with the tech editor to deliver comprehensive buying guides, reviews, and the latest product news.

An occasional racer, Richard spends most of his time preparing for long-distance touring rides these days, or getting out to the Surrey Hills on the weekend on his Specialized Tarmac SL6 (with an obligatory pub stop of course).