Britain’s Bradley Wiggins set a cycling hour record on Sunday by riding 54.526 kilometers, or 33.88 miles, in one hour.
He beat the previous record set by fellow Briton Alex Dowsett in May by 1,589 meters, the International Cycling Union reported.
“This is as close as I’ll get to know what giving birth feels like,” he said after.
“It is torturous. You never think it is going to come to an end. I am just really glad it’s done.”
All through his ride he looked fast on his super-aerodynamic bike.
The question was, how far would he actually go past the old record?
And sure enough, after an hour of incredibly difficult effort, both physical and mental, he pedaled an amazing 54.526 kilometers, or 33.88 miles.
This is the moment he fully realised he’d set a new world record:
Once he got off his bike, his coach handed it back to him, and he lifted it over his head to the thrill of the crowd:
After for a long time he continued to thank his many fans:
When he finally sat down he gave a couple peace signs:
The hour record is an impressive addition to Wiggins’ long list of achievements.
He was the first British rider to win the Tour de France, in 2012.
He is the reigning world time-trial champion.
And he’s won four Olympic gold medals, in addition to many other victories.
Wiggins has said that next year’s Olympics in Rio will probably mark his farewell to competitive cycling, the AFP reported.
You can watch Wiggins’ record-setting ride in its entirety here:
And here’s the full press release from the UCI:
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) congratulates Bradley Wiggins on his outstanding new UCI Hour Record of 54,526 km, set this evening in a full-to-capacity London Lee Valley VeloPark Velodrome.
Wiggins beat the previous record, set by fellow Briton Alex Dowsett on May 2 in Manchester, by 1,589 metres.
After five seasons riding for Team Sky, with whom he won the 2012 Tour de France, Wiggins, 35, he now joins the tiny elite of riders (Petit-Breton, Coppi, Anquetil, Merckx and Indurain) who have won the Tour de France and beaten the UCI Hour Record.
Since the modernisation of the UCI Hour Record regulations, which were introduced by the UCI in May 2014 and permit the use of up-to-date pursuit bikes, the event has seen a tremendous rise in popularity amongst riders, broadcasters, the media and fans. In September 2014, German Jens Voigt became the first of a series of riders to reignite interest in the UCI Hour Record; seven attempts, of which four have been successful (Voigt, Matthias Brändle, Rohan Dennis and Alex Dowsett), preceded Bradley Wiggins’ triumph tonight in London.
The 2014 UCI Individual Time Trial World Champion has become the eighth rider to attempt the modern UCI Hour Record, and the fifth to break it, in the space of nine months.
“I am really glad it’s done”, said Bradley Wiggins after the attempt. “This is as close as I’ll get to know what giving birth feels like. It is torturous; you never think it is going to come to an end. I am just really glad it’s done, the build-up was long since Paris-Roubaix. My wife and children know more than anyone about air pressure. I am glad to be in the company of these greats, Rominger, Indurain…”
“Bradley Wiggins was very impressive tonight”, declared UCI President Brian Cookson. “The UCI Hour Record has witnessed something special tonight in an incredible atmosphere that was reminiscent of the London 2012 Olympic Games. We modernised the event’s rules in order to create this kind of occasion.”
“Pushing the record to 54,526 is an outstanding achievement, of which Brad and the team around him will be justifiably extremely proud.”
“It’s a high bar but, like Brad, I hope that other riders will come forward to go against what is in many senses the purest record of all, how far an athlete can push themselves in 60 gruelling minutes on the very edge of their abilities.”
Multiple Hour Record, Olympic Medal and Tour de France stage winner Chris Boardman said: “I’ve enjoyed seeing the hour being revitalised and especially watching how Brad approached the challenge with the attention to detail the monument deserves. It’s unfortunate that he made the attempt with such high air pressure, I’d love to see him try it again in circumstances where he is less tied to a start time and can go when conditions are optimal. If he were able to do that, I think he could well set the furthest distance ever recognised.”
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