Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Soudal) successfully set a new UCI Hour Record at the Velodromo Bicentenario in Aguascalientes, Mexico on Tuesday evening (April 16).
The Belgian set a distance of 55.089km in his hour, beating the 54.526km record of Bradley Wiggins set in 2015 in London by 563 metres.
Campenaerts delivered an imperious performance in his attempt, maintaining a fairly consistent pace throughout.
The 27-year-old hit the first 10km four seconds quicker than Wiggins, riding around 16.2 seconds per 250m lap in the first 20 minutes.
The splits then began to drift to around 16.3 seconds per lap, still enough to set a new record, but enough to show Campenaerts was beginning to feel his effort. At halfway he had ridden an average speed of 55.117km/h, which would have given him around 600m on Wiggins if he held his effort.
With 40 minutes gone Campenaerts was still looking strong, holding 16.4 seconds per lap, down on his previous efforts.
As 50 minutes ticked over, he’d covered just over 46km, but was now beginning to reach back into 16.3 second laps, and looking much more assured of setting the new record.
The lap times then stayed between 16.3 and 16.45 in the final eight minutes of the effort, with the pain now visibly setting in having reached 200 laps in 54-29.
In the last five minutes Campenaerts needed to take 16 more laps to beat the record, and was still holding his effort as he continued to log lap times of just over 16.3 seconds, still averaging just over 55kmh as his line wavered somewhat from the black line around the track.
With just over 59 minutes gone he needed just over one lap to beat the record, eventually hitting 54.750km by 59-41.
Of course Campenaerts continued to push on to make more distance, in the end finishing on 55.089km to set a new Hour Record, completing 221 laps of the velodrome in total.
“I’m super happy and if I think of the list I’m in now, I’m among the greatest cyclists in history,” Campenaerts said after his effort. “I’ve focused on this for a long time so I’m happy I could break the record and I’m also really happy that I could hit the magic 55km.”