Cycling’s Hour Record is akin to the 100m sprint in Athletics, everyone wants to know just how fast they can go with the distance or time.
Molly Shaffer Van Houweling will attempt to break the UCI Hour Record on September 12, 2015, at the Velodromo Bicentenario in Aguascalientes, Mexico. She will be the second female rider to go after cycling’s iconic record since its rules changed in May 2014.
Van Houweling is the current holder of the US Hour Record. She is also a five-time UCI amateur road world champion, most recently winning the road race and time trial titles at the 2014 UCI World Cycling Tour Final in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Regarding her upcoming attempt, Van Houweling said:
“It is an honour and an immense challenge to take on the most epic record in all of cycling. I have had several opportunities to ride on the track in Aguascalientes, and I know that it is a fantastic facility. Mexico has a special place in the UCI Hour Record history, as the site of records by Eddy Merckx, Jeannie Longo, and Leontien van Moorsel. I hope my upcoming attempt will be part of that proud history.”
A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Van Houweling now lives in Berkeley, California, where she is Professor of Law and Associate Dean at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. She is a long-time member of Metromint Cycling, a racing team based in the San Francisco Bay area.
Van Houweling’s attempt on the UCI Hour Record comes 60 years after the first mark (38.473km) was set by Soviet athlete Tamara Novikova in 1955. The existing record of 46.065km was established in Mexico City in 2003 by the then World Champion and Olympic gold medallist Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel, of the Netherlands.
In May, 2014, the UCI took steps to modernise and simplify the rules for the UCI Hour Record; the record can now be tackled using any bicycle that conforms to the rules for endurance track events. Following the rule change, the men’s record has been broken five times, most recently by Sir Bradley Wiggins on June 7, 2015 (54.526km). The only female rider to attempt the record since the rule change was Dame Sarah Storey, who rode 45.502km on February 28, 2015 – setting a new British record but falling short of van Moorsel’s mark.
UCI President Brian Cookson welcomed the latest attempt:
“I am delighted that another athlete will make an attempt on the women’s UCI Hour Record. Last December, Molly Shaffer Van Houweling broke the US Hour Record, which had stood for 24 years. It will be very exciting to see what she can achieve in her attempt at the World Record.”