Hour Record

Belgian Victor Campenaerts at the Velodrome track cycling arena in Roubaix, France (Photo credit DAVID STOCKMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Current men’s holder: Victor Campenaerts (55.089km)

Evelyn Stevens sets a new UCI hour record of 47.980 km. Image: Watson

Current women’s holder: Evelyn Stevens (47.980km)

The Hour record is one of the most prestigious records in cycling with roots dating back to 1893 when it was set by Henri Desgrange, the man who would go on to create and run the Tour de France. In the mid 1990s the record was repeatedly broken on increasingly advanced equipment forcing the sports governing body, the UCI, in to creating a set of regulations that stifled record attempts and confused the record books.

>>> View timeline of the Hour record

The record was effectively reset in May 2014, when the UCI standardised the equipment regulations, bringing them inline with Olympic track cycling, and announcing the current record of 49.7km (previously called the ‘athletes hour’ as it was set on equipment similar to that used by Eddy Merckx in 1972) would stand as the mark to beat.

Fabian Cancellara had expressed interest in attacking the record, but his challenge thus far has not materialised. Instead, his retiring team mate Jens Voigt successfully set a new record of 51.115km in Switzerland on September 18 2014, followed six weeks later by Matthias Brändle’s mark of 51.850km set on October 30. After Jack Bobridge’s unsuccessful attempt at the end of January 2015, his Australian compatriot Rohan Dennis successfully set a new mark of 52.491km on February 8.

Britain’s Alex Dowsett was the next to take up the mantle, and after having to postpone an initial attempt in February 2015, Dowsett successfully broke Dennis’s record by over 400 metres, setting a distance of 52.937 at the Manchester velodrome on May 2.

Bradley Wiggins during his Hour Record attempt

Then World and Olympic time trial champion Sir Bradley Wiggins then increased the record to 54.526km in London on June 7 2015.

Then, on April 16, Belgian Victor Campenaerts, took to the Aguascalientes velodrome in Mexico, setting a distance of 55.089km to better Wiggins’ record by 563 metres, far surpassing his aim of 300 metres.

Hour record
Victor Campenaerts (Bel) 55.089km Mexico, 16/4/19
Sir Bradley Wiggins (GBr) 54.526km London, 7/6/2015
Alex Dowsett (GBr) 52.937km Manchester, 2/5/2015
Rohan Dennis (Aus) 52.491km Switzerland, 8/2/2015
Matthias Brändle (Aut) 51.852km Switzerland, 30/10/2014
Jens Voigt (Ger) 51.115km Switzerland, 18/09/2014
Ondrej Sosenka (Cze) 49.700km Moscow, 19/07/2005
Chris Boardman (GBr) 49.441km Manchester, 27/10/2000
———— All records below set prior to the Lugano Charter ————
Chris Boardman (GBr) 56.375km Manchester, 06/09/1996*
Tony Rominger (Sui) 55.291km Bordeaux, 05/11/1994
Tony Rominger (Sui) 53.832km Bordeaux, 22/10/1994
Miguel Indurain (Spa) 53.040km Bordeaux, 02/09/1994
Graeme Obree (GBr) 52.719km Bordeaux, 27/04/1994*
Chris Boardman (GBr) 52.270km Bordeaux, 23/07/1993
Francesco Moser (Ita) 51.840km Mexico, 15/01/1994
Graeme Obree (GBr) 51.596km Hamar, 17/07/1993†
*Superman position
†Tuck position
Source: UCI

Women’s Hour Record

The Women’s Hour Record also saw a renewed interest following the 2014 rule change.

Evelyn Stevens set a new UCI hour record of 47.980 km in 2016

Up until that point, the reigning champion had been Leontien van Moorsel, who completed 46.065km in October 2003.

Following the rule change, multiple Paralympic Champion Sarah Storey announced her intention to target the record – attempting the feat on February 28 2015 at Lee Valley Velodrome. She set new British, Para-Cycling and Masters (age 35-39) records, but missed the overall by 563m – covering 45.502km in total.

On September 12 2015, US rider Molly Shaffer Van Houweling broke the record, covering 46.273km. She was bettered in October 2015, by Australian rider Bridie O’Donnell who achieved 46.882km at the Adelaide Super-Drome.

The current record holder, Evelyn Stevens, then stepped up to the mark in February 2016 – just before her retirement from professional cycling. She set a new benchmark, at 47.980km.

Women’s Hour Record results
Evelyn Stevens (USA), 47.980km, Colarado Springs, 27.02.2016
Bridie O’Donnell (Aus), 46.882km, Adelaide, 22.01.2016
Molly Shaffer-Van Houweling (USA), 46.273km, Mexico, 12.09.2015
Leontien Ziklaard-Van Moorsel (Ned), 46.065km, Mexico, 01.10.2003
Jeannie Longo-Cirprelli (Fra), 45.094km, Mexico, 07.12.2000
Jeannie Longo-Cirprelli (Fra), 44.767km, Mexico, 05.11.2000
Anna Wilson (Aus), 43.501km, Melbourne, 18.10.2000
———— All records below set prior to the Lugano Charter ————
Jeannie Longo-Cirprelli (Fra), 48.159km, Mexico, 26.10.1996
Yvonne McGregor (Gbr), 47.411km, Manchester, 17.06.1995
Catherine Marsal (Fra), 47.112km, Bordeaux, 29.04.1995
Jeanni Longo (Fra), 46.352km, Mexico, 01.10.1989
Jeanni Longo (Fra), 45.016km, Moscow, 29.10.1989
Jeanni Longo (Fra), 44.933km, Colorado, 22.09.1987
Jeanni Longo (Fra), 44.770km, Colorado, 20.09.1986
Jeanni Longo (Fra), 44.718km, Grenoble, 07.11.1986
Jeanni Longo (Fra), 43.588km, Milan, 30.09.1986
Cornelia Van Oosten-Hage (Ned), 43.093km, Munich, 25.11.1985
Barbara Ganz (Sui), 42.319km, Zurich, 25.11.1985
Maria Cressari (Ita), 41.472km, Mexico, 25.11.1972
Elsy Jacobs (Lux), 41.347km, Milan, 09.11.1958
Olga Sidorenko (URS), 41.087km, Moscow, 20.10.1982
Millie Robinson (Gbr), 39.719km, Milan, 25.09.1058
Renee Vissac (Fra), 38.569km, Milan, 18.09.1957
Tamara Novikova (URS), 38.473km, Irkoutsk, 07.07.1955