Belgian cyclist Victor Campenaerts, 27, set a new hour record at the Mexican velodrome in Aguas Calientas, leaving the record at 55,089 km. Thus, it surpasses Bradley Wiggins’ previous record of 54,526 km set in 2012.
Campenaerts, of the Lotto Soudal team, is double Belgian and European time trial champion and was a bronze medallist in the 2018 UCI Road World Championships Time Trial. During the last year he has been preparing just for the hour record. He trained in Namibia to achieve a perfect acclimatisation, at 1800 meters, the same height that has been found in Aguascalientes.
“I thank Lotto Soudal for the confidence and freedom they gave me in this first part of 2019 and focus on the hour record. I calculated to the millimetre the feeding, the gear ratio and the tempo. I also didn’t want to destroy Wiggins’ record and embarrass him, but I held nothing back and I did it. “These were the words of the new record holder, who used a 61×14 gear ratio and a handlebar just 33 centimetres wide.
The Belgian was the first to break the 55-kilometre barrier in a UCI-approved race. Although Tony Rominger, with 55,291 in 1994 and Chris Boardman with 56,375 in 1996 did it before, they were considered as records to the “best human effort” to use modified bicycles.